Flagler Hospital announced today that it has been named in an independent national research study as a recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Hospital Award for Patient SafetyTM, according to HealthGrades, the nation’s leading healthcare ratings company. This distinction ranks Flagler Hospital among the top five percent nationally for patient safety outcomes.
“The wellbeing and safety of our patients is our highest priority,” says Joe Gordy, President of Flagler Hospital. “This award, along with the Solucient 100 Top Hospital Performance Improvement Leaders Award and the Healthgrades Cardiac Care Award, reconfirms our goal to continually strive to provide the best possible patient care to St. Johns County and the surrounding areas.”
In its Third Annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study, HealthGrades independently analyzed nearly 40 million Medicare patient records from federal fiscal years 2002 to 2004 using 13 patient safety indicators such as post-operative infections and preventable deaths, developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The patient records were obtained directly from the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. More than 5,100 teaching and non-teaching hospitals were analyzed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including all non-federal hospitals that submit Medicare data.
If all Medicare patients had been treated at Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety during that period, HealthGrades found that 280,134 patient safety events, 44,153 deaths and $2.45 billion in excess costs could have been avoided. On average, patients at Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety are also 43 percent less likely to experience an adverse, preventable event during their stay than patients treated at the bottom-performing hospitals.
“Medical errors are primarily an organizational issue resulting from inadequate or nonexistent systems that evidence suggest would reduce the probability of errors,” explained Samantha Collier, M.D., HealthGrades’ vice president of medical affairs. “In our experience, Distinguished Hospitals for Patient Safety have made a commitment to ensure adequate systems are in place, or soon to be in place, that effectively reduce errors.”
The Third Annual Patient Safety in American Hospitals Study and current clinical quality ratings for all U.S. hospitals are available, free of charge, on the web at www.healthgrades.com. More than two-and-a-half million unique users and 125 major employers visit the HealthGrades web site every month to access quality information about hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. HealthGrades also provides consumers and payers with medical cost comparisons for common procedures and diagnoses.
Flagler Hospital is a 316 bed acute care hospital serving St. Augustine and surrounding Florida communities. Flagler Hospital is recognized nationally for overall clinical excellence, and offers specialty services in the Heart Center, the Oncology Center, and the Spine Program. Flagler Hospital provides ambulatory services in the Flagler Imaging Center located on the St. Augustine campus, the Multi-Specialty Care Center located in Palm Coast, and is planning new facilities near the World Golf Village and Palatka areas.
Public Relations Specialist