TOMS RIVER, NJ – Patients in need of emergency care who choose treatment at Community Medical Center, an affiliate of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, are being treated at one of the top 5% of hospitals nationwide for emergency medicine excellence, according to a new national study.
HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation’s hospitals, recently examined more than five million Medicare records of patients admitted through emergency rooms of 4,907 hospitals from 2006 to 2008 and identified hospitals that performed in the top 5% in the nation in emergency medicine.
Hospitals in the top 5% were identified as recipients of the HealthGrades 2010 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award. There were 225 hospitals nationwide to receive the award. In addition to Community Medical Center, its affiliate hospital Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, also received the award.
The first annual analysis is based on risk-adjusted mortality outcomes for patients admitted through the emergency department for 11 of the most common life-threatening diagnoses in the Medicare population. Comparing the group of hospitals in the top 5% with all others, the study found that the group had a 39% lower risk-adjusted mortality rate. The top performing hospitals, including Community Medical Center, improved their outcomes over the years 2006 through 2008 at a faster rate than all other hospitals.
Essentially, the HealthGrades study revealed that patients who are treated at a top hospital – such as Community and Monmouth Medical Centers – have a much greater survival rate from serious complications such as heart attack, pneumonia or stroke.
Stephanie L. Bloom, executive director of Community Medical Center, said, “The HealthGrades study validates what our hospital has strived to achieve throughout the years – to provide the best emergency care in the region.”
She added, “I want to thank our dedicated emergency department physicians, nurses and ancillary staff who work in collaboration with local EMS teams for their unwavering commitment to Community Medical Center and our patients. It is their skill and compassion that allows us to deliver patient satisfaction at the highest levels each and every day.”
Bloom said Community Medical Center’s emergency department handles a diverse mix of minor emergencies to major life-threatening conditions and treats approximately 100,300 patients each year. The emergency department is over 50,000 square feet and houses 82 separate treatment areas.
The emergency department at Community has been named an accredited Chest Pain Center, as well as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. It also offers pediatric emergency services staffed by physicians and nurses specifically trained to treat children. A pediatrician is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Laurence DesRochers, MD, chair of Emergency Medicine at Community Medical Center, said, “We are proud our hospital and emergency department has achieved this national distinction. It is important for our patients to know that when they choose Community Medical Center for emergency care, they are getting the best care available in the entire country.”
Dr. DesRochers added, “Our team of dedicated and skilled physicians, nurses and staff in the emergency department are committed to providing excellence each and every day.”
According to HealthGrades, the most common causes for hospital admission through the emergency department by Medicare patients over the three years studied were pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sepsis. The highest in-hospital mortality rates were among patients with a primary diagnosis of sepsis, respiratory failure or heart attack.
The 11 conditions examined in the study are:
• Bowel obstruction
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Diabetic acidosis and coma
• Gastrointestinal bleed
• Heart attack
• Pulmonary Embolism
• Respiratory Failure
HealthGrades vice president Rick May, MD, who also co-authored the study, said, “The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that 50% of hospital admissions now begin with hospital emergency departments, up from 36% in 1996, and that is expected to rise with the recent health reform legislation. This study identifies hospitals with superior patient outcomes to educate consumers as well as to set data-driven benchmarks that other hospitals need to examine closely.”
A full copy of the study can be found at www.healthgrades.com.
For more information about Community Medical Center and its emergency department, visit www.barnabashealth.org or call 1-888-724-7123.
Date: August 26, 2010
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