Heart Center Award
A national awards organization which scrutinized the outcomes data for all 4500 hospitals in the US has given Lakeland Healthcare's Heart Center its top award for 2006 for excellent outcomes in the treatment of heart attacks with stents (considered a preferred treatment for heart attacks). CareScience has given Lakeland its 2006 Select Practice National Quality Leader Award in the category of Acute Myocardial Infarction Treated with PCI (excluding valve and bypass surgery).
"We are proud and honored to be recognized alongside only 37 other hospitals in the country with this award," commented Joe Wasserman, CEO for Lakeland HealthCare. "It shows that the day to day commitment of our healthcare professionals to quality outcomes, patient care and patient safety can be benchmarked among the best healthcare organizations in the US."
CareScience examines the outcomes data from all 4500 hospitals in the country to assess clinical excellence in 16 diagnostic categories. The paramount leaders were scrutinized further to determine the top 1% of hospitals in the country for this category, treating heart attacks. A total of 37 hospitals were notified of the award. No one had applied for it.
Lakeland received this award in addition to the CareScience Select Practice National Quality Leader for being in the top 1% of hospitals for overall clinical excellence-a designation that places it in a tier with only 45 hospitals nationwide.
CareScience was founded in 1992 by physicians from the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine and scholars from the Wharton School of Business. They were awarded a $40 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to come up with a "clinical, objective definition of quality". After several years, they determined that there were 16 diagnostic categories (clinical indicators) that would be benchmark for quality. They assessed all 4500 hospitals in the country to identify the top performers in those categories. Then they scrutinized those few hundred in every dimension using only MedPar data, the publicly available billing and clinical data all hospitals report to the government. They rejected the use of subjective criteria, such as opinion and reputation, in favor of only quantifiable, verifiable data. The result was the first ever CareScience Awards in 2006, which identified top performers in healthcare. CareScience also maintains active relationships with numerous quality organizations including the NQF and the Leapfrog Group. CareScience also works with CMS (the department of the US government that handles Medicare and Medicaid) to support the "100,000 Lives" Campaign, an initiative to improve outcomes in hospitals across the country.
"All clinical outcome comparisons are viewed as a powerful way to motivate improvement in the quality of care delivered," said Richard Bankowitz, MD, MBA, vice president and medical director of CareScience. "The Select Practice program provides a benchmark for hospitals, recognizing the best in patient care and organizational efficiency. We are extremely pleased to award these organizations with a Select Practice designation and hope that the Select Practice reports will contribute to the nation's efforts to improve efficiencies and ultimately, the quality of patient care."
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons is a nonprofit medical society that collects data from the vast majority of hospitals in the US. It then uses its members' expertise to publicize a system for helping consumers compare one hospital's outcomes with another by adjusting the circumstances for large academic medical centers with those of medium and smaller non-teaching hospitals. The result is a projected mortality rate for hospitals which reflects the expected quality of participating organizations. The majority of open heart surgical programs use the standards set by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
According to the STS Fall 2006 Report, Lakeland's projected, or expected, mortality rate is 2.3%. Our actual mortality rate was 1.2%--half the national average.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Fall 2006 Report, also shows projected mortality rates for four kinds of valve repair surgery. Note that Lakeland's projected, or expected, mortality rate, ranges from 3.7% to 10.4% for these four procedures. In fact, our actual mortality rate for all four was: ZERO.
There is a national movement that focuses on ensuring that heart attack patients are treated in 90 minutes or less with a "balloon" or stent. This new standard was put in effect July 1, 2006. Lakeland's current rate of treatment, based on third quarter 2006, was exactly 90 minutes. But is speed the only factor that should be considered?
Lakeland HealthCare recognizes that speed is critically important in treatment of heart attacks, but we have always maintained our quality standards (which is borne out by the CareScience award of being in the top 1% of hospitals in the country for outcomes of patients treated for heart attacks with stents - see above). We feel that a more thorough analysis of quality includes an objective analysis of mortality and complication rates. Based on all three of these criteria-speed, low mortality rate and low complication rate-Lakeland delivers the highest quality care for heart attack patients in the region.
"It's a great day for our patients, our community and our associates," notes Lowell Hamel, MD, Vice President, Medical Affairs. "Now our neighbors know that a national benchmarking organization ranked Lakeland among the top 1% of hospitals in the country. And our community can be assured of the great work our physicians and staff perform year round." And our community can be assured of the great work our physicians and staff perform year round."