Atlantic General Hospital receives the Maryland Health Quality Innovator of the Year Award for its remote patient monitoring service. Pictured, from left, are Monica Taylor, RN coordinator; Paula Nichols, assistant; Charles Gizara, RN, director of clinical operations; Carolyn Miller-Cragway, RN coordinator; Colleen Wareing, vice president of patient care services; Michael Franklin, president and CEO of Atlantic General Hospital; Gail Mansell, director of supportive care services; Andrew Cropper, chaplain; Jennifer Light, RN coordinator/telehealth coordinator; Jocelyn Palmer, RN coordinator; and Sharon Hegarty, RN coordinator.

(Jan. 4, 2019) Atlantic General Hospital was recently recognized as a Health Quality Innovator of the Year for Maryland.

The award was presented by Health Quality Innovators (HQI), an independent, nonprofit consulting organization. The Health Quality Innovator Awards are HQI’s program for gathering and sharing the best evidence-based, practical methods for enhancing quality of care across physician practices, hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Atlantic General was selected as a winner in the rural health category for its dedication to the health of the Eastern Shore community.

Atlantic General Hospital is a 62-bed acute care facility serving the Eastern Shore of Maryland as well as Sussex County, Delaware and Accomack County, Virginia.

In 2014, the hospital’s readmission rate was 11.09 percent. Readmission is defined as an additional admission to an acute care hospital within 30 days of discharge from that hospital or another acute care hospital.

To reduce hospital readmissions, Atlantic General deployed a community-based telehealth program using remote patient monitoring (RPM) to help patients through the delicate time between hospital discharge and the following weeks when he or she is working to establish good health practices with his or her regular doctor.

The program’s coordinators can also intervene when someone’s health starts to fail but before there is a need to be admitted to the hospital.

Upon discharge, patients at high risk of readmission are set up with a custom kit, which might include a tablet computer, blood pressure cuff, pulse oximeter and standard weight scale.

A multi-disciplinary collaborative team of a primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, dietitian, palliative care team member, chaplain and care coordinator work together, focusing on the patient and family.

Early results of Atlantic General’s initiative indicate its effectiveness in reducing readmission rates. By December 2016, Atlantic General had reduced its readmission rate to 8.89 percent, and as of this week, the hospital is now ranked fourth best in Maryland for low readmissions.

“We’re very proud to be recognized as a Health Quality Innovator of the Year,” said Michael Franklin, FACHE, CEO of Atlantic General Hospital. “This is truly a collaborative effort among a dedicated team of people working to improve the health of this community, showing how Atlantic General is the leader in caring for our community.”

“The Health Quality Innovator of the Year Awards represent HQI’s commitment to improving health care in communities across Maryland and Virginia. We recognize health care organizations that deliver better care, better population health and lower health care costs,” said Donald A. Glozer, MHA, FACHE, president and CEO of HQI.

To learn more, visit

Atlantic General Hospital has been providing quality health care to the residents of Worcester, Wicomico and Somerset counties is Maryland and Sussex County, Delaware, since May 1993.

Built through the commitment and generosity of a dedicated community, Atlantic General’s main facility in Berlin combines the warmth of personalized attention with the reassurance of medical expertise and advanced technology.

The not-for-profit hospital provides quality specialty care in oncology, medical and surgical weight loss, orthopedics, and women’s diagnostics among other services.

Atlantic General Health System, its network of more than 40 primary care providers and specialists, cares for residents and visitors throughout the region. For more information about Atlantic General Hospital, visit

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