National Study Recognizes Via Christi For Exceptional Quality

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

For the third year running, Via Christi Regional Medical Center is one of only 270 hospitals nationally to receive HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award™. This distinction is based on an independent study released today by HealthGrades, the leading healthcare ratings company.

Via Christi Regional Medical Center is the only Kansas hospital—and one of only 150 in the United States—to be recognized by HealthGrades as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

"It's reaffirming to make the list of the nation's top-performing hospitals—and particularly so to have made that list for three years in a row," said Michalene Maringer, president and chief executive officer for the Via Christi Wichita Health Network. "It recognizes our day-to-day commitment to attaining and sustaining quality outcomes for patients and their families."

For seven years now, HealthGrades has conducted its comprehensive study of hospital quality in America, producing ratings for every nonfederal hospital. Hospitals that receive the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that excel across the 26 procedures and diagnoses rated and are in the nation's top 5 percent for overall quality.

"Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence comprise an unparalleled group of hospitals that excel across the board, not just in one or two specialties, and they should be commended for their relentless commitment to exceptional patient care. Patients should expect and demand the same level of care at all hospitals," said Rick May, MD, HealthGrades senior physician consultant, and an author of the study.

For its study, HealthGrades analyzed almost 41 million Medicare hospitalization records that cover the latest three-year period, from 2005 to 2007. Because the hospitalization records come from the federal government, no hospital can opt in or out of HealthGrades' rating process. The analysis is risk-adjusted to account for differences in patient populations between hospitals.

According to the HealthGrades study:

Hospitals for Clinical Excellence like Via Christi are improving at a greater rate in more procedures and diagnoses than all other hospitals, lowering risk-adjusted mortality rates over the years 2005, 2006, 2007 by an average of 18 percent;

Hospitals for Clinical Excellence consistently perform better across all procedures and diagnoses studied;

Hospitals for Clinical Excellence have 27 percent lower inhospital mortality and 8 percent lower post-operative complication rates than other hospitals;

If all Medicare patients hospitalized during the study period had been cared for by the top-performing hospitals, it's estimated that more than 150,000 lives could have been saved and nearly 12,000 inhospital complications avoided.

Via Christi Regional Medical Center also ranked No. 1 in Kansas for Stroke, Pulmonary and Critical Care in HealthGrades' 2009 service-specific ratings.

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