April 11, 2014

Consumer Reports ranks St. John Medical Center among top 10 safest U.S. hospitals

St. John Medical Center is rated as one of the top hospitals in the country for patient safety, according to the latest issue of Consumer Reports, which released safety scores on more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals. In the report, St. John Medical Center rated as the 10th safest hospital in the country.

“We are focused on patient safety every day,” said William A. Young, president and chief executive officer of St. John Medical Center. “Each and every person in our hospital is empowered to make patient safety a priority.”

Consumer Reports combined five key measures into one composite score (from 1 to 100), giving consumers a way to compare hospitals on patient safety. St. John Medical Center scored a 73 on a 100-point scale. The national average safety score was 51, while the highest-ranking hospital in the country scored a 78.

Why are some hospitals safer than others? “Likely because they do a lot of things—some little, some big—well,” said John Santa, MD, medical director, Consumer Reports Health. “That includes everything from making sure staff communicate clearly with patients about medications, which can help prevent drug errors, to doing all they can to prevent any hospital-acquired infections,” he said.

According to Doris Peter, PhD, associate director, Consumer Reports Health, “The take-home for doctors is that they should be aware of the quality of care in their own hospitals and those that they refer their patients to. The take-home for patients is that there is variation in the quality of care and that they need to look at the data and hold hospitals and doctors accountable.”

Consumer Reports calculated a patient safety score for 2,591 hospitals by combining five measures of patient safety into a single composite score (from 1 to 100), using the most recent available data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three of the measures (mortality, readmissions, and overuse of computed tomography scans) apply to patients aged 65 years and older, and the other two (hospital-acquired infections and communication) apply to all adults.

“We are proud of the work of St. John Medical Center’s medical staff and employees that make patient safety a priority,” said Young. “We are constantly working to better understand how we can improve the care we provide to our patients and their loved ones.”

St. John’s high ranking from Consumer Reports follows high rankings in the 2013 release of U.S. News and World Report’s coveted annual “Best Hospitals” rankings for 2013-2014, which recognized St. John Medical Center as being among the best in Ohio, and as delivering “high performance” care in multiple specialties. St. John also received an “A” in patient safety from The Leapfrog Group. St. John also fared well in Consumer Reports’ 2013 “Your safer-surgery survival guide,” which evaluated 2,463 U.S. hospitals. St. John received an “above average” rating based on how patients fare during and after surgery, ranking it as one of the top five hospitals among 20 in Greater Cleveland.

St. John Medical Center is a 50/50 joint venture of the Sisters of Charity Health System and University Hospitals.

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