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Oct 22: Memorial Health System First in Colorado for Cardiac Care

For Immediate Release

October 22, 2007

According to the tenth annual HealthGrades hospital quality in America study issued on Monday, Memorial Health System ranks best in Colorado for cardiac care, cardiology services, cardiac surgery and coronary interventional procedures. In addition, Memorial Health System ranks among the top 5 percent in the nation for cardiac care, cardiac surgery and coronary interventional procedures and the top 10 percent for cardiology services. This study, the largest of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes at virtually all of the nation's 5,000 hospitals over the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 and also found that Memorial is five-star rated for the following: coronary bypass surgery, coronary interventional procedures and treatment of heart attack.

“At Memorial, we are committed to providing the highest quality care for our patients and have continually sought ways to keep improving our services,” said Memorial Health System CEO Dick Eitel. “We are very proud to receive this award that highlights our dedication to providing the best in cardiovascular care.”

According to the study done by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent ratings company, patients admitted to the nation’s five-star hospitals like Memorial have, on average, a 71 percent lower chance of dying than those treated at one-star hospitals. The study analyzed 18 procedures and conditions.

“Our research shows that while the overall quality of hospital care in America is improving, the gap between the best-performing hospitals and the worst persists,” said Dr. Samantha Collier, HealthGrades’ chief medical officer and author of the study. “This persistent gap makes it imperative that anyone planning to be admitted to a hospital do their homework and seek out highly rated facilities.”

The Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study identifies key trends in the quality of care provided by approximately 5,000 hospitals nationwide. HealthGrades researchers analyzed Medicare discharges from virtually every U.S. hospital between 2004 and 2006. Risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates were calculated and hospitals were assigned a 1-star (poor), 3-star (as expected), or 5-star (best) quality rating for 28 diagnoses and procedures from heart failure to hip replacement to pneumonia.

The study’s key findings include:

  • Gaps persist between the “best” and the “worst” hospitals across all procedures and conditions studied. Five-star rated hospitals had statistically significantly lower risk-adjusted mortality across all three years studied.
  • Across all procedures and conditions studied, there was an approximate 71 percent lower chance of dying in a 5-star rated hospital compared to a 1-star rated hospital.
  • Across all procedures and conditions studied, there was an approximate 52 percent lower chance of dying in a 5-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.

The 2008 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available free of charge on the organization’s award-winning consumer Web site, located at www.healthgrades.com. More than three million individuals and employees of some of the nation’s largest employers and health plans visit HealthGrades each month to access quality information about hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. HealthGrades also provides consumers and payers with detailed assessments of hospitals’ patient-safety outcomes, based on indicators developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

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For more information, please contact Memorial Health System’s Public Relations Office at (719) 365-5235.