DuBois Regional Medical Center Among Top 5 Percent Nationally for Patient Safety

DUBOIS – DuBois Regional Medical Center is among the top 5 percent of all hospitals in the United States in providing a safe experience for its patients.

DRMC has been named in an independent national research study as a recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient SafetyTM by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading healthcare ratings company.

HealthGrades also gave DRMC a five-star rating for women’s heart and stroke care and for maternity care. These ratings, the highest available through HealthGrades’ rating system, places DRMC in the top 15 percent in these categories.

Patient Safety

The 2007 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient SafetyTM by HealthGrades reflects DRMC’s performance among the top 5 percent nationally for patient safety outcomes. DRMC is one of only 242 hospitals out of nearly 5,000 to receive this recognition.

HealthGrades independently analyzed nearly 40 million Medicare patient records from federal fiscal years 2003 to 2005 using 13 patient safety indicators developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The patient records were obtained directly from the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Almost 5,000 teaching and non-teaching hospitals were analyzed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including all non-federal hospitals that submit Medicare data.

The HealthGrades study compares the rates of key patient safety events, such as infections after operations and preventable deaths using AHRQ’s set of methods, including the following patient safety measures:

• Death in low mortality Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs) (This is a measurement that identifies in-hospital deaths in patients unlikely to die during hospitalization. The assumption is that if patients admitted for a condition or procedure that is unlikely to cause someone to die, a health care error is more likely to be responsible.)
• Decubitus ulcers (bedsores)
• Failure to rescue
• Foreign body left in during procedure
• Iatrogenic pneumothorax (This is a leak in the lung causing air to accumulate in the space around the lung. It prevents the lung from expanding fully and a partial lung collapse occurs.)
• Selected infections due to medical care
• Post-operative hip fracture
• Post-operative hemorrhage (excessive bleeding) or hematoma (This is the abnormal buildup of blood in an organ or other tissue of the body, caused by a break in a blood vessel.)
• Post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements (physical or body chemistry problems)
• Post-operative respiratory failure
• Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis (blood clots involving the lungs)
• Post-operative sepsis (blood poisoning)
• Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence (poor wound healing results in the wound splitting open)

If all Medicare patients had been treated at Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety during that period, HealthGrades’ study finds that 206,286 patient safety situations, 34,393 deaths and $1.74 billion in excess costs could have been avoided.

On average, patients at Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety are also 40 percent less likely to experience an adverse, preventable event during their stay than patients treated at the bottom-performing hospitals.

Women’s Health Outcomes and Maternity Care
DRMC also received top designations for its women’s health and maternity care.

Women treated for cardiovascular disease at the nation’s best-performing hospitals, such as DRMC, have a 39 percent lower risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rate when compared with women at the nation’s poorest-performing hospitals, according to the fourth annual HealthGrades Women’s Health Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals study.

The study also found that, for women, the largest quality gaps between the best-performing and poorest-performing hospitals were in heart failure and interventional cardiology procedures.

Compared to poorly performing hospitals, the best-performing hospitals had a 46 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality for heart failure and a 44 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality for interventional cardiology procedures.

Overall, risk-adjusted mortality for cardiovascular disease for women improved an average of 8.7 percent from 2003 through 2005.

HealthGrades analyzed the following six procedures and diagnoses for each hospital’s female patients:
• Coronary bypass surgery
• Valve replacement surgery
• Interventional cardiology procedures (Angioplasty)
• Acute myocardial infarction (Heart Attack)
• Heart failure
• Stroke

Heart disease is the number one killer of women, according to the American Heart Association.

Nineteen states make available the outcomes data necessary for this study. Those states include: Arizona, California, Florida, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The study also found that:
• All performance categories of hospitals – best, average and poor – showed improvement over the study period.
• If all of the 513 study hospitals in the 19 states studied performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals during the years 2003 through 2005, 15,925 deaths among women hospitalized for cardiovascular disease could have been potentially prevented. The national number would be much higher.
• The greatest opportunity to reduce mortality is among women hospitalized for stroke and heart attack.

In addition to identifying trends in cardiovascular care, the annual HealthGrades Women’s Health Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals study provides women’s health and maternity care quality ratings for 2,100 hospitals in the 19 states that publish hospital outcomes data.

DRMC was recognized with a five-star rating in maternity care from HealthGrades. It ranked in the top 15 percent of hospitals in the nation for maternity care.

The 2007/2008 HealthGrades programmatic ratings for maternity care are based on the following criteria:
• in-hospital complication rates associated with vaginal and cesarean deliveries
• in-hospital volume
• neonatal mortality
• complication rates for non-medically indicated or patient choice cesarean sections.
For its 2007/2008 ratings, HealthGrades independently analyzed the quality of maternity care for more than 1,500 hospitals across 19 states that make this information publicly available, objectively assessing their clinical performance and quality over the three year period from 2003-05.

The four criteria measured were weighted using predetermined weights based on consensus from a physician panel. Each factor’s percentile score was multiplied by its weight and then summed to create an overall score.

Based upon each hospital’s overall score, HealthGrades applied the following rating system:
Five-star (Best) = Top 15 percent of all hospitals within 19 states
Three-star (Average) = Middle 70 percent of all hospitals within 19 states
One-star (Poor) = Bottom 15 percent of all hospitals within 19 states

Receiving a five-star designation indicates a hospital has scored in the top 15 percent or better in the nation for clinical quality.

“Each year, HealthGrades conducts the largest annual studies of hospital quality in America,” explained Samantha Collier, HealthGrades’ chief medical officer. “The fact is a close analysis of the data shows that the quality of maternity care varies widely from hospital to hospital, so it’s important for individuals to have this vital information as they evaluate hospitals.”

The complete maternity care ratings and others are published, free of charge, on the HealthGrades Web site. Ratings for 28 other medical procedures and diagnoses – including cardiac, pulmonary, vascular, stroke, orthopedics, critical care, bariatrics and gastrointestinal services are also available on the HealthGrades Web site. More than three million users visit the HealthGrades Web site each month.

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