Quality at NHRMC

The story of New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s commitment to quality medical care and exceptional patient experience is best told through the numerous awards from national rating agencies that recognize accomplishments.

Here at NHRMC, our quality performance results from striving for the highest standards of excellence in all aspects of care throughout our system. We work hard to ensure that every patient is cared for by a highly skilled and compassionate team using advanced technology and following carefully outlined protocols, safety and quality assurance standards, all consistently applied through standard work. 

Through the years, our patients have told us what they like and don't like. We listen and make changes, recognizing we can always be better and every patient deserves the best we have to offer. The national awards we receive tell you how we're doing.

ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award

Action Registry Performance

New Hanover Regional Medical Center received the ACTION Registry Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2018 from the American College of Cardiology’s National Cardiovascular Data Registry.

The award recognizes NHRMC’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care for heart attack patients and signifies that NHRMC has reached an aggressive goal of treating these patients to standard levels of care as outlined by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association clinical guidelines and recommendations.

American Heart Association Mission: Lifeline


American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Awards2020 AHA Mission Lifeline NSTEMI Gold Logo2020 AHA Mission Lifeline RECEIVING PLUS Gold Logo

At New Hanover Regional Medical Center, we strive to continually find ways of cutting heart attack treatment times to give patients the best chance at a full recovery. The Code STEMI program is at the center of this mission. STEMI stands for ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction. "Myocardial infarction," or MI, is the clinical term for heart attacks.

NHRMC Heart Center works in collaboration with hospitals and paramedics around the region to perform EKGs, recognize a STEMI and immediately activate the Code STEMI protocol. By doing so, they set in motion a series of steps at NHRMC. Cardiac and Emergency teams are activated, the catheterization labs are prepared, and the equipment is ready for the patient to be moved to treatment on arrival.

Recognition Criteria

NHRMC received the AHA Mission: Lifeline Gold Plus Award by:

  • Achieving 85 percent or greater composite score on quality measures, ranging from treatment times to discharge protocol
  • Having no single measure below 75 percent on the achievement measures
  • Maintaining that standard for two consecutive years

NHRMC received the AHA Mission: NSTEMI Gold Award by:

  • Achieving specific criteria and maintaining that standard for two consecutive years

2020 AHA Mission Lifeline EMS PLUS Gold Logo

American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline EMS Gold Plus Award 

NHRMC's Emergency Medical Services and AirLink VitaLink Critical Care Transport teams received the award for implementing quality improvement measures for the treatment of patients who experience severe heart attacks. For the third time, NHRMC EMS and Airlink VitaLink Critical Care Transport teams received the highest Mission: Lifeline award possible.

Recognition Criteria

  • NHRMC’s medical contact to artery open time was 74 minutes - less than the national standard median time of 90 minutes
  • NHRMC averaged 90 minutes for patients transferred from a referring hospital for medical contact to artery open time - less than the national median time of 120 minutes

American Heart Association: Heart Failure Silver Plus

AHA GWTG Heart Failure Silver Plus Award 2020 NHRMC's Heart Failure Program received the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines Silver Plus Achievement Award quality recognition for the first time. The goal is speeding recovery and reduced hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. 

To receive the Silver Plus Achievement Award, hospitals must:

  • Evaluate the proper use of medications and implement aggressive risk-reduction therapies
  • Provide patient education on managing their heart failure and overall health
  • Schedule a follow-up visit before discharge
  • Implement other appropriate care transition interventions


American Heart Association/American Stroke Association: Stroke Gold Plus

AHA ASA GWTG Stroke Gold Plus and Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy NHRMC's Stroke Program received the Get With The Guidelines Gold Plus Achievement Award and was recognized on the Target: Stroke Elite Plus award and Target: Stroke Honor Roll Advanced Therapy, three quality recognitions presented by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. 

To receive the Gold Plus Achievement Award, hospitals must:

  • Treat stroke patients with 85 percent or higher compliance to core standard levels of care for two or more consecutive 12-month periods
  • Achieve 75 percent or higher compliance in 5 out of 8 quality measures

The standards measure:

  • Treating a patient quickly, appropriately and thoroughly
  • Scheduling followup therapies at discharge
  • Prescribing appropriate medication
  • Suggesting preventive measures 

Target: Stroke Honor Roll and Advanced Therapy Honor Roll

To earn Target: Stroke Honor Roll Elite Plus recognition, hospitals must achieve time to intravenous thrombolytic therapy, or door-to-needle time, of 45 minutes or less in 75 percent of stroke patients and door-to-needle time of 30 minutes or less in 50 percent of stroke patients. The IV therapy will break up a clot, which is depriving oxygen to part of the brain. Fast action can limit the damage caused by a stroke.

To earn Advanced Therapy Honor Roll recognition, hospitals must achieve time to device, or door-to-endovascular therapy (EVT) time, of 90 minutes or less in 50 percent of stroke patients arriving directly to the hospital and door-to-endovascular therapy time of 60 minutes or less in 50 percent of stroke patients transferring from other facilities. Fast action can limit the damage caused by a stroke.


BC/BS Blue Distinction Center+ for Bariatric Surgery

BC BariatricSince 2007, New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Bariatric Surgery Program has been designated as a Blue Distinction® Center+ by Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery are healthcare facilities with demonstrated expertise and a commitment to quality care while meeting requirements for cost efficiency.

Blue Distinction Centers+ for Bariatric Surgery designations are awarded for two types of bariatric procedures: gastric stapling and gastric banding. To be considered for designation, the facility must provide a full range of bariatric surgery care, including inpatient care, postoperative care, outpatient follow-up care and patient education.

Evaluation criteria are based on what impacts the patient and patient care the most, including:

  • The expertise of the medical team
  • The number of times NHRMC has performed bariatric procedures 
  • NHRMC’s track record for procedure results  

Blue Cross Blue Shield Blue Distinction Center+ Hip & Knee, Spine Surgery

New Hanover Regional Medical Center has been selected as a Blue Distinction Center+ for knee and hip replacement and spine surgery by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

U21699 BDCcomboBlue Distinction Centers are nationally designated healthcare facilities shown to deliver improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed by Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies with input from the medical community. Only those facilities that first meet nationally established, objective quality measures will be considered for designation as a Blue Distinction Center+.

Commission on Cancer Accreditation


In 2018, New Hanover Regional Medical Center was granted a three-year accreditation to the cancer program from the American College of Surgeons. The Comission on Cancer recognizes organizations that are dedicated to improving patient outcomes and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive, quality care.

To earn voluntary CoC accreditation, New Hanover Regional Medical Center met 34 quality care standards and is required to maintain levels of excellence in the delivery of comprehensive patient-centered care.

Healthgrades: Five-Star Treatment of Stroke

Healthgrades StrokeNew Hanover Regional Medical Center has achieved five stars from Healthgrades in stroke care.

This achievement is part of new findings and data released by Healthgrades, an online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals, and featured in the latest Healthgrades Report to the Nation. Every year, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide for 34 of the most common inpatient procedures and conditions.

Healthgrades: Outstanding Patient Experience

Healthgrades Outstanding Patient ExperienceNew Hanover Regional Medical Center has achieved the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award. This distinction recognizes NHRMC among the top 15 percent of hospitals nationwide.

Hospitals were chosen based on evaluation of patient experience measures, using data from surveys submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In order to be recognized by Healthgrades, hospitals must meet eligibility requirements for consideration, which includes clinical performance thresholds in addition to a minimum of 100 survey responses.

LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer

HEI2020New Hanover Regional Medical Center has achieved the LGBTQ Health Care Equality Top Performer designation from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC).

Every year, HRC recognizes the healthcare facilities that participate in the HEI for their dedication and commitment to LGBTQ inclusion.

Million Hearts Hospitals & Health Systems

MH Hospitals LogoNew Hanover Regional Medical Center has been recognized for excellence in preventing heart attacks and strokes by Million Hearts – a national initiative that aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in five years.

Newsweek Best Maternity Care Hospitals

NHRMC Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital has been named to Newsweek’s list of Best Maternity Care Hospitals.

Best Maternity HospitalsThe distinction recognizes facilities that have excelled in providing care to mothers, newborns and their families, as verified by the Leapfrog Hospital Survey. Best Maternity Care Hospitals is part of Newsweek, powered by data from The Leapfrog Group.

SHPBest Superior Performer Patient Satisfaction

SHP Best Home Health

NHRMC Home Care has been recognized by Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) as a Superior Performer for achieving an overall patient satisfaction score that ranked in the top 20 percent of all eligible SHP clients for the 2019 calendar year, acknowledging home health agencies that consistently provide high quality service to their patients.

Touchstone Awards

Touchstone Badge 2019The NHRMC system has earned seven Touchstone Awards, which recognize exceptional performance in the areas of patient safety, clinical outcomes, clinical efficiency and service excellence.

Teams across the health system worked on various projects aimed at improving patient care for those in our region.

Click here to read about the winning projects.