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    HOSPITAL AMONG TOP 100 IN CARDIOVASCULAR QUALITY



    Hospital's heart program is among one hundred hospitals across the country to be recognized for its quality of care by an independent study. The study, "Top Cardiovascular Hospitals," was conducted by research consultants HCIA-Sachs and was published in the May 29 issue of Modern Healthcare. In a review of over 800,000 Medicare cases, analysts looked at six quality indicators, including mortality, infection rates, and hemorrhage, for three heart disease diagnoses or procedures - acute heart attack, angioplasty, and coronary artery bypass surgery. They also looked at efficiency measures, including length of stay and average cost of treatment. In addition to performing 11-12% better on clinical measures, the top one hundred hospitals also averaged a half day shorter length of stay and a $700 lower cost per case than the comparison group. Hospital CEO said she was pleased with the study's recognition of the local hospital's heart program. "It's gratifying for all of us when the efforts of our physicians and staff get this kind of national attention," she said. "It's a tribute to the consistent focus on quality care by the physicians and staff across the whole range of cardiac services we offer - all the way from outpatient testing, to our ambulance and emergency services, to the cath lab and surgery, right down to cardiac rehabilitation. The HCIA-Sachs heart program results truly reflect a team effort," she explained. The aim of the study is to help hospitals improve performance by providing cardiovascular benchmarks for comparative purposes. For example, if all hospitals performed at the level of the top one hundred hospitals, postoperative mortality rates following cardiovascular surgery would drop 18% and postoperative infections by 26%, mortality following heart attacks would drop 9%, and hospitals could cut their average cardiology costs by over $400,000 each year. Among the top one hundred were twenty-six teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency training programs, forty-five teaching hospitals without cardiovascular residents, and thirty-one non-teaching hospitals, including Hospital. Other hospitals on the list include Memorial Hospital in South Bend, and Deaconess Hospital in Evansville.

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