Consumer Reports Ranks Dickinson County Healthcare System 5th in State of Michigan
Dickinson County Healthcare System’s Board of Trustees learned today that Consumer Reports recently ranked DCH System fifth out of 142 hospitals in Michigan. The magazine, dedicated to helping the public make informed decisions through the systematic and scientific comparison of name brands in everything from automobiles to appliances, has branched out into the comparison of healthcare institutions. They recently compared over 4,000 hospitals nationwide in the areas of patient safety, patient outcomes, patient experience, and hospital practices. Michigan hospitals that were ranked higher than DCH System were all located in Lower Michigan with the exception of Portage Health in Hancock; they ranked only one point higher than DCH System.
Additionally, this most recent ranking awarded to DCH System by Consumer Reports was better than all of the Wisconsin hospitals the public in this area typically drive to for care.
“This ranking awarded to our healthcare system by Consumer Reports is based upon very high standards and is a compilation of multiple sources,” commented John Schon, Administrator / CEO. “It is a testament to the consistency of the high quality healthcare that is locally available due to the expertise and commitment of our staff and physicians and the attention to detail given to each of our patients that results in a high level of safe care.”
“Our high ranking has certainly been helped by the consistent participation of our staff in the Michigan Hospital Association’s Keystone Initiatives that focus on the continuous and ongoing improvement of patient care in a variety of areas through the utilization of the best evidence based practices,” commented Sue Hadley, RN, Director of Nursing. “A great deal of team work and dedication to detail over the years has resulted in the level of quality and safety we provide right here in Iron Mountain.”
“This type of national recognition does not come easy,” commented Bill Edberg, Hospital Board Chairman. “I extend our congratulations to our staff.”
The Consumer Reports rating comes from scientifically based data on patient experience and outcomes gathered from public sources. The magazine gathers all of the information from its multiple sources and summarizes it in an easy-to-interpret format for their readers. Additionally, the ratings have been statistically adjusted to minimize differences among hospitals due to the types of patients they serve. The following information was considered when the hospitals were ranked.
The Safety Score is a summary of five categories that relate to hospital safety and include: avoiding infections, avoiding readmissions, communicating about medications and discharge, the appropriate use of chest and abdominal scanning, and avoiding both medical and surgical mortality.
Dickinson County Healthcare System received a score of 66 in this category compared to a high score of 77 in the State of Michigan attained by Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall. Other top hospitals had scores of 73, 69 and 67. DCH System ranked highest in avoiding readmissions and avoiding surgical complications.
Ratings in this category took into consideration five categories.
Information for this rating came from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS, which was developed by the federal government as a way of making a determination of how well healthcare systems met a variety of healthcare needs while hospitalized. The survey takes into consideration the following:
Ratings are based on 28 items that appeared on a survey conducted by the American Hospital Association that described the extent to which the hospital had a computerized system of physician and nursing notes, viewing lab and diagnostic test reports, viewing radiology images, entering prescriptions and test orders, and important alerts and reminders. Dickinson County Healthcare System has computerized systems in place for all of these situations.
This category also reviewed the hospital’s appropriate use of CT scanning and the avoidance, whenever possible, of performing double scans. Unnecessary double scans expose patients to excess radiation, and also to the potential adverse effects of the dye.
Dickinson Memorial Hospital’s CT imaging has been nationally accredited by the American College of Radiology and meets all patient safety requirements as a result.
This is the second time in less than a year that Dickinson County Healthcare System has been cited by Consumer Reports. The September 2013 issue of the magazine rated Dickinson Memorial Hospital as one of the better hospitals to choose when surgery was needed; Dickinson was one of 17 hospitals in the State of Michigan to receive an above average rating. The study was based upon a review of Medicare claims and clinical data for nearly 2,500 hospitals across the country for 27 kinds of surgeries combined – large and small hospitals in each state were compared.