Local hospitals rank well even as state sites score poorly overall
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
10/24/12 at 3:27 AM
Oklahoma hospitals have been performing worse than expected overall, although some individual hospitals in the state have good marks, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report from Healthgrades uses data hospitals report to the federal government to evaluate them in handling 28 common conditions and procedures, such as different surgeries or a heart attack.
Oklahoma as a whole ranked worse than average in most services. Some area hospitals, however, saw good news in the report.
St. Francis Hospital was found to be among the 100 best hospitals for critical care and orthopedic surgery care.
Hillcrest Medical Center was one of the top 100 hospitals in spine surgery, and St. John Medical Center received that distinction in joint replacement, according to data from Healthgrades.
Oklahoma performed worse than the national average in risk-adjusted mortality regarding heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.
It performed better than the national average in total knee replacement, hip fracture treatment, and back and neck surgery.
People can use hospital quality information, such as the rankings from Healthgrades, to choose the best hospital for their needs, and hospitals can use the information to pinpoint best practices and see where they need to improve, said Dr. Peter Aran, senior vice president and chief medical officer at St. Francis.
Doctors and nurses who might be resistant to change can look at the data and see that they need to do something different, he said.
"When we share this information with them, they have to reflect on 'What can I do better?' " he said.
In addition to quality departments, all the hospitals in the St. Francis Health System have quality improvement councils that meet regularly and discuss what can be improved, Aran said.
Part of the reason Oklahoma ranks poorly in hospital quality measures is because patients in the region tend to be more unhealthy than average and to have more chronic health conditions, he said.
Also, fewer doctors and nurses are available to treat the growing patient load, Aran said.
"We have an uphill challenge that we're all grappling with," he said.
Original Print Headline: Hospitals' test results a mixed bag
Shannon Muchmore 918-581-8378
St. Francis Hospital nurse Debra Chadwick checks patient Gloria Bachman in the Critical Care Unit. St. Francis was ranked among the best 100 hospitals for critical care and orthopedic surgery care, according to a recent report. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World file