CRMC consistently ranks high in patient safety

COOKEVILLE — Cookeville Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is setting the industry standard when it comes to patient safety. 

CRMC has consistently ranked high in the state for patient safety since 2017. In the third quarter of 2017, the hospital ranked first out of 90 hospitals in the state and 28th out of 3,238 nationally. That’s a large increase since the second quarter of 2016 when the hospital ranked 11th out of 91 in the state and 611th out of 2,238 nationally. 

“While our aim at Cookeville Regional Medical Center has always been zero preventable harm for all of our patients, we are proud to announce that since this increased patient safety focus CRMC has made remarkable strides in keeping our patients safe,” said Buffy Key, CRMC chief operating officer. “With all of the changes the pandemic brought to all of us, we continue to stay driven toward improvement of quality and safety at our medical center.” 

Since the third quarter of 2017, CRMC has ranked first or second in the state. And that is due to the commitment of everyone on staff to provide exceptional care, accountability with the “Good Catch” reporting system and empowering patients to speak up and ask questions about their care. 

“Everyone is responsible for patient safety – healthcare staff, patients and families,” said Chevelle Johnson, CRMC associate chief nursing officer. “We encourage families and patients to speak up and ask questions about their care.” 

CRMC’s “Good Catch” reporting system is a way for the team to review potential risks to patients. It is a recognition of an event that could have been harmful to a patient but was prevented and is often referred to as a “near miss” or “close call.” 

Examples of a “Good Catch” include mismarked medication or technology malfunctions that could have interfered with patient care. 

“People come to the hospital to get better, not sicker, which is why we take patient safety seriously,” said Paul Korth, CRMC CEO. “I am proud of our healthcare staff who are on the front lines every day working hard to prevent patient harm while giving each patient quality and timely treatment.” 

“‘Exceptional care to every patient every day’ is our mission statement,” Johnson said. “Patient safety is top priority from front line staff to the board.” 

“The safety of our patients is our driving force in everything that we do,” Key said. “Each physician, provider and employee wants CRMC to be the safest environment to receive medical care – it truly is the way we care.” 

Here are some quotes from a few healthcare professionals on the floor involved in patient safety: 

Emily Stebing, RN, ICU: “It’s about the right care at the right time. I want to make sure I’m there when they need me and treat them as my family.”  

Heath Dryer, RN, ICU: “I make sure the patient is getting everything they need and reduce risk of injury. Safety comes first and that determines how you provide care throughout the day.” 

Heather Kinnard, environmental services: “I make sure to clean the room well and the patient is taken care of. I want to make sure they don’t fall and clean well to keep the germs away.”  

Carolyn Storie, RN 5E: “My goal is keeping my patient out of harm’s way. I try to make sure safety protocols are met, call lights are in reach, prevent falls, keep walkways clean and clear of clutter.” 

Kayla Cook, RN 5N: “My goal is to keep the patient safe. I do hourly rounds to check on patients, keep the tip board updated, make sure the correct arm bands are on, and focus on fall prevention and medication safety.”  

Dani Cook, RN float: “It’s all about preventing patient harm. Patient safety impacts each interaction with my patients.” 

Betsy Denton, speech therapist, therapy service: “I make sure we provide the best care in the safest way possible. I also make sure that I take all factors into consideration before I recommend further assessment and testing.” 

Michael Rasor, peri operative tech, operating room: “The patient’s care comes first and it’s my number one priority. My first priority is making sure I have the correct patient by checking arm band and transport them safely.” 


CRMC has ranked as either the first or second hospital in the state since Q3 of 2017.

2020-Q2: #2 out of 84 in TN and #153 out of 3,161 nationally 

2019-Q2: #1 out of 87 in TN and #71 out of 3,210 nationally

2018-Q2: #2 out of 90 in TN and #135 out of 3,245 nationally  

2017-Q3: #1 out of 90 in TN and #28 out of 3,238 nationally

2016-Q2: #11 out of 91 in TN and #611 out of 3,238 nationally 

Cookeville Regional Medical Center is celebrating 100 years in 2021. It began as a 15-bed private clinic built by a local surgeon and has grown to a 269 bed Regional Center on a 55-acre campus featuring state-of-the-art Cardiac care, Orthopedic care, Cancer Center, Robotic surgery and much more. 

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