HealthGrades Study Finds Patients Treated at 5-Star Hospitals are 80 Percent Less Likely to Experience a Major Complication


For the ninth consecutive year, HealthGrades’ annual study released Oct. 20 ranks Joint Replacement Care at Hughston Hospital in Columbus in the top 5 percent in the nation. HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent ratings organization, evaluates patient outcomes for 5,000 hospitals. This research is the only comprehensive analysis based solely on patient mortality and complication rates.

In addition, Hughston Hospital in Columbus is:

· Recipient of the HealthGrades Joint Replacement Excellence Awardtm for the fifth consecutive year (2007-2011)
· Best Rated in the Columbus, GA-AL Region for Joint Replacement
· Five-Star Rated for:
o Joint Replacement
o Total Knee Replacement
o Total Hip Replacement

“This recognition for Hughston Hospital once again signifies the superior performance of our physicians and the stellar caliber of our employees,” said James R. “Butch” Wheeler, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer for the facility. “Similarly, it re-confirms our national reputation for providing a premium level of quality care on a daily basis and on which our patients routinely depend.”

The HealthGrades study, the largest annual report of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes in nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records from the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Among the findings related to inhospital complications in this year’s study are:
· Across all procedures in which complications were studied, there was an 80 percent lower chance of experiencing one or more complications in a 5-star rated hospital compared to a 1-star rated hospital.
· Across all procedures studied, there was a 63 percent lower chance of experiencing one or more inhospital complications in a 5-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.

The public is demanding increased public reporting of quality measures, and recent government reform efforts support this call to action. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 40 percent of adults report that they believe there are major differences in hospital quality in their immediate geography. Additionally, since 1996, the number of consumers that indicated they would choose a hospital based on a high quality rating over familiarity has increased to 72 percent from 59 percent.

The new 2011 HealthGrades hospital ratings were posted Oct. 20 and are free to the public at www.healthgrades.com.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality Ratings

HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

For 26 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A 3-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for equal comparisons.

More information on the Thirteenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America study, including the complete methodology, can be found at www.healthgrades.com.

About Hughston Hospital in Columbus

Since 1984, Hughston Hospital in Columbus has provided excellence in orthopedic and rehabilitative care. It was the nation’s first hospital designed specifically to treat patients with musculoskeletal injuries or disorders. Today, the 100-bed, private room, specialty hospital is nationally recognized for delivering outstanding clinical quality and the highest levels of customer service. Services are delivered through a highly specialized team of professionals using the latest technology and research to care for people of every age and ability and every level of musculoskeletal injury or disorder.

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As the region's leading provider of healthcare, Columbus Regional Health has touched the lives of most of the children and adults in this region through its comprehensive network of services. Located in the West Georgia city of Columbus, Columbus Regional was established in 1986 as a not-for-profit health services organization, but its roots can be traced back to 1836 when the local hospital was a small wooden building on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.