Gregory Dehmer, a physician whos director of cardiology at 517-bed Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple, Texas, attributes a committed team, cutting-edge technology and quality-improvement efforts with helping his facility make Solucients 100 top cardiovascular hospitals list for seven consecutive years.
Colleen Nadeau, a registered nurse who is director of cardiology and critical care at
258-bed St. Josephs Hospital, St. Paul, Minn., points to a dedicated staff, benchmarking and a rapid quality-improvement program as critical to improving quality and keeping the hospital on the list for two straight years.
Donna Disbro, also a registered nurse and vice president for cardiovascular services at 298-bed Blake Medical Center, Bradenton, Fla., credits a multidisciplinary team approach, a motivated staff and attention to detail with propelling the hospital onto the list for the first time.
The three hospitals are on Solucients eighth annual 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success. The study, which was released exclusively to Modern Healthcare, evaluates 844 hospitals on eight measures of clinical quality, performance and operational efficiency.
Solucient, based in Evanston, Ill., uses data from two primary sources: the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review, or MedPAR, data set, and Medicare cost reports from 2004 and 2005. MedPAR is used for patient-level medical record information and charge data. The data contain information on 12 million Medicare patients who are discharged annually from the nations acute-care hospitals.
Four of the 100 top hospitals made the Solucient list all eight years, six have been on the list for seven years and 29 facilities are on for the first time.The quality of cardiac care has risen significantly in this country, says Jean Chenoweth, Solucients senior vice president of performance improvement and 100 Top programs. The data show there is a difference in performance between the winners and the nonwinners. This shows there is still room for improvement.
One of Solucients starkest findings is that more than 8,390 additional heart patients would have survived in 2005, or 11.3 per hospital, if all 744 peer-group hospitals provided the same quality of care as the 100 top hospitalsor benchmark facilitiesaccording to Solucient.
Another 574 patients, or roughly 0.8 per hospital, also could have avoided developing complications such as infections and hemorrhaging, according to the latest study.