Wednesday, October 19, 2011

OMHS receives awards

By Rich Suwanski, Messenger-Inquirer
Published: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 12:32 AM CDT

Owensboro Medical Health System received four Excellence Awards for medical care, according to HealthGrades 2011 Healthcare Consumerism and Hospital Quality in America report, and rated it among America’s 100 Best Hospitals for cardiac care and critical care.

OMHS received the Excellence Awards in critical care, cardiac, pulmonary and stroke care. It received stroke care and cardiac care Excellence Awards for the first time.

“It’s great news for the community,” said Dr. Catharine Schmitt, OMHS chief of staff and a gynecologist. “It once again confirms that we are a very quality oriented hospital.

“I don’t think people need to be transferred most of the time to other facilities. We have excellent facilities and we continue to work on quality to have a highly reliable organization.”

HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization, studied patient outcomes in roughly 40 million hospitalization records from about 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in the United States that participate in the Medicare program. The current report was based on the three-year period from 2008 to 2010.

HealthGrades rates 27 diagnoses and procedures on a 5-3-1 star system based on hospital records. Five stars means the better-than-expected outcomes; three stars means outcomes were as-expected; one star means less-than-expected outcomes.

OMHS was rated first among Kentucky hospitals for cardiac care, critical care, cardiology, coronary interventional procedures, joint replacement surgery, treatment of gastrointestinal issues, neurosciences and stroke care.

“The ratings for neuroscience and stroke care have had a marked improvement, where we’ve gone to a five-star rating,” Schmitt said. “We’re working with the University of Louisville with our stroke patients so that we get some benefit from their expertise, as well as our doctors.

“Our quality department, doctors and nursing staff are really working to reverse the effects of strokes. One of the most important things in stroke care is getting patients to the hospital very early so that they have the very best chance of total resolution of the symptoms.”

OMHS received five-star ratings in the following categories for patients while in the hospital: Back and neck surgery (except spinal fusion), gastrointestinal bleed, heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, respiratory failure, sepsis, stroke and total knee replacement.

OMHS received three-star ratings in the following categories: back and neck surgery (spinal fusion), bowel obstruction, carotid surgery, cholecystectomy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary interventional procedures, diabetic acidosis and coma, gastrointestinal surgeries and procedures, heart bypass surgery, hip fracture treatment, neurosurgery, pancreatitis, pulmonary embolism, total hip replacement, and valve repair/replacement surgery.

OMHS received one-star ratings in peripheral vascular bypass, prostatectomy and resection/replacement of abdominal aorta.

“The hospital has been very much into (quality) before HealthGrades,” Schmitt said. “We have physician committees on quality. We have a big department of hospital staff that reviews quality of almost all cases. ...

“If a case falls out (of quality standards), there’s a discussion to see how things could be done differently and improve the process so that mistakes don’t happen.”

Rich Suwanski, 691-7315, or