Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

April 11, 2013

Community Howard among best in patient safety

Facility receives excellence award.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor

— For the second consecutive year, Community Howard Regional Health has received an excellence award for patient safety from Healthgrades, an online resource for information on hospitals and physicians.

The award places Community Howard among the top 5 percent of all hospitals for 2012 and 2013 for its performance in safeguarding patients from preventable complications during hospital stays.

The 2013 award covers the period from 2009 through 2011 and uses public records on Medicare patients to make the determination.

The study looks at 13 preventable safety events in which Howard scored better than average in five categories, average in seven and worse than average in one: death in procedures where mortality is usually low.

“We are very pleased that patient safety at Community Howard has been recognized by Healthgrades two years in a row,” said James Alender, CEO of Community Howard. “We have many safety initiatives in place, and our Patient Safety Committee and Quality Department work hand-in-hand to ensure that our patients are in the safest hospital environment possible.”

Alender said the study provides consumers with information to help them make choices about health care.

Community Howard patients were 81 percent less likely to experience hip fracture following surgery than at hospitals ranked in the bottom five, 80 percent less likely to experience bed sores and 70 percent less likely to get a catheter-related bloodstream infection.

“The Healthgrades report highlights the variation in hospital quality, both locally and across the nation, in order to show consumers that spending time on understanding hospital performance can be a matter of life and death,” Evan Marks with Healthgrades said. “Consumers can be assured that a hospital that has been recognized with a Healthgrades 2013 Patient Safety Excellence Award has demonstrated an established commitment to patient safety.”

None of the hospitals in Kokomo, Peru, Logansport and Tipton reported an incident where a foreign object was left in a patient during a procedure.

All five hospitals in the region scored below average in the category for death in procedures where mortality is usually very low.

St. Joseph Hospital in Kokomo was rated average in seven categories. It was better than average in accidental cut, puncture or hemorrhage during medical care and death following a serious complication after surgery. It was below average in fluid imbalance following surgery, respiratory failure after surgery and bloodstream infection following surgery.

IU Tipton Hospital was rated average in 11 categories and below average in two, including deep blood clots in the legs or lungs after surgery.

Logansport Memorial Hospital was average in 10 areas, above average in death following serious complications after surgery and below average in two categories, including deep blood clots in the legs and lungs after surgery.

Duke’s Memorial Hospital was average in 12 categories and below average in one.

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