Consumer Reports Expands Hospital Ratings List
"This is the second Consumer Reports piece on hospital safety in less than one year. However, the current report is accessing data that is still more than two years old and does not reflect the fact that the Health Center has substantially improved, across the board, in safety metrics. As such, the report does not accurately portray the quality of care available at the UConn Health Center today," the statement read.
"We urge the public to also use other sources of information that are current, such as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Hospital Compare website."
"According to Hospital Compare, in categories where statewide comparisons are available, the Health Center is above the Connecticut average in the majority of quality metrics. For example, current Hospital Compare data shows the Health Center, as compared to other local hospitals, among the best for:
- Ensuring that all heart attack patients are given aspirin at discharge as well as a prescription for a statin at discharge, with scores of 100% and 99% respectively.
- Assessing and providing pneumonia vaccine, with a score of 94%.
- Making sure patients receive treatment at the right time to help prevent blood clots after certain types of surgery, with a score of 100%.
- The hospital's rate of double CT scanning of the chest has been almost zero for the entire last year, and double-scanning of the abdomen has decreased by 62% since July of 2012."
Clinch Valley Medical Center in Richlands, VA, received a score of 14 from Consumer Reports, the lowest score in the nation. Beth Stiltner, the hospital's quality and risk manager told the magazine that its criteria for ratings represent "only a small piece of the entire hospital's performance." The hospital's Website notes that it was recognized this year by Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association for improving patient safety.
Santa conceded that the Consumer Reports ratings have their limits.
"Our Ratings are an important measure, but they're not the only source you should consult. They don't, for example, assess how successful hospitals are at treating medical conditions," he said.
He encouraged patients planning a hospital stay to consult multiple sources, including Hospital Compare and Leapfrog Group.
John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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