Hospital has been rising in rankings over past three years.

CarolinaEast Medical Center was recognized as the state’s third best hospital by an N.C. business magazine.

The March edition of Business North Carolina magazine names CarolinaEast Medical Center the third best hospital in North Carolina as determined by publicly reported data and several other ratings agencies and insurers.

The 2016 edition of the magazine rated CarolinaEast in the number five position; the 2015 edition rated the coastal Carolina organization 15th best in the state.

Ray Leggett, president and CEO of CarolinaEast Health System, said the recognition was an acknowledgment of all the hard work of the employees, staff and volunteers.

“We are obviously thrilled with our advance towards the top – it is affirmation that we strive to do what is right, every encounter, every opportunity, every day – no exceptions,” Leggett said in a prepared statement. “This is yet another indication that our 2,500 plus employees, 250 physicians and nearly 500 volunteers come to work every day with a servant’s heart to care for our community and our region – and they do so 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year – since we opened our doors in 1963.”

During fiscal year 2016, CarolinaEast Health System cared for 13,980 inpatients, 109,381 outpatients, 62,433 emergency department patients and saw 210,381 patients in the 17 CarolinaEast Physicians’ offices. A total of 396,175 patient encounters took place on the main campus and throughout the four counties in which CarolinaEast has care locations,

“And we care for all comers – regardless of their ability to pay,” Leggett said.

Steve Tyson, a member of the CarolinaEast Medical Center Board of Directors, said he was proud of the statewide recognition and several other awards the hospital has received.

“We’re doing very well for a small eastern North Carolina county,” Tyson said. “We have an outstanding hospital and we are constantly trying to improve our services as well as the facility, including the cancer center where construction will start soon. We also have about $80 million worth of construction either in the pipeline, under construction or recently completed and that includes some of the equipment.”

A new emergency room is also planned for the hospital that is designed to treat twice as many patients the current emergency room can accommodate, Tyson said.

Other honors CarolinaEast has received over the past few years include showing up in the “Patient Picks” rankings based on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient surveys.

Advanced care has been recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield in their “Cutting-Edge Hospitals” listing where CarolinaEast is noted for its cardiac care and maternity care. U.S. News & World Report included CarolinaEast in their list of “Top-Performing Tar Heel Hospitals” for performance treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart failure and hip and knee replacement.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, debuted their star rating system in July 2016 at which time CarolinaEast Medical Center was one of only four Five Star hospitals in North Carolina. The Dec. 19, 2016 ratings release resulted in CarolinaEast being North Carolina’s only CMS Five Star Hospital.

The organization has also received accolades from other well known rating agencies including Healthgrades which recognized the organization for performance in cardiac surgery (50 best hospitals in the nation) and patient safety for three and four years in a row, respectively.

The Women’s Choice Awards have rewarded CarolinaEast over the years for positive outcomes in the areas of orthopedics, cardiac care and patient experience. The Leapfrog organization which ranks organization on a letter scale and focuses solely on patient safety graded CarolinaEast with an “A,” according to a press release from the medical center.

“We feel like an Eagle Scout with a ton of merit badges,” Leggett said. “And I could not be more proud of our many accomplishments.”