Employers Rank Union Hospital Among the Best in Ohio

May 2004

Union Hospital in Dover is rated among the leading hospitals in northeast Ohio for its quality of care and for cost management.  The hospital ratings are contained in the ?Guide to Hospital Quality? issued Friday, May 14, by The Community Healthcare Coalition. 

?Our community should be pleased by the high ratings given to some of the most important hospital services we offer our patients,? said William Harding, president and CEO.  ?Whether it?s general surgery, a specialized procedure like carotid artery surgery, or treating pulmonary diseases like pneumonia, Union hospital is rated among the best of the 58 hospitals included in the study,? Harding said.

The guide includes hospitals in Tuscarawas, Stark, Summit, Cuyahoga, and 15 other Ohio counties.

Carey Gardner, the hospital?s director of community relations, says the quality guide selected specific medical conditions and surgical procedures and compared patient outcomes and the cost of that care.  For each category the hospitals are rated between ?five star ? significantly above average? and ?one star ? significantly below average?.

In the category of pulmonary disease, Gardner says Union Hospital rated five stars for care of pneumonia and four stars for care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).  In the surgical category Union Hospital earned five stars for carotid artery surgery and four stars for colon surgery.

According to the Coalition?s published report, the factors that make up the hospital rating in each category included the number of patients treated, deaths that occur during the procedure or treatment, major complications, and deaths that occur after a complication.  The report gives the most weigh (40 percent of the score) to the number of cases a hospital treated.  Death after a complication was given the least weight (10 percent of the score).

While pleased with the quality ratings given Union Hospital, Harding says that quality improvement is an ongoing process for the hospital staff and physicians.

?We closely monitor a great many indicators tracking both quality of care and operating efficiency,? Harding said.  ?Later this year we will be investing in a new information system to further improve our ability to monitor quality, reduce errors, and improve our overall level of care.?

Gardner said the Community Healthcare Coalition is one of several organizations nationally that monitor quality and make reports for consumers.  Among them are the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, ?Healthgrades?, the American Hospital Association Quality Initiative, and others.  

?Consumers are taking more interest in managing their healthcare and want to make informed decisions and more information about quality and cost will be available in the future, Gardner said.  ?The challenge for consumers will be to translate all the data into good healthcare decisions for their families.  Your family doctor is always a good place to turn with questions about making these decisions.?

 

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