Dickinson Surgical Services Receive High Ratings from Consumer Reports
Dickinson County Healthcare System’s Board of Trustees met today and heard positive news regarding the quality surgical care provided at Dickinson Memorial Hospital. The September issue of Consumer Reports 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 with some surprising insights revealed.
Staff and surgeons in the Operating Room arena at Dickinson Memorial Hospital have followed specific protocols for years that are aimed at keeping the patient safe throughout their surgery and infection free following surgery.
“Surgery at Dickinson Memorial is a patient centered process – not just a group of isolated procedures,” commented Patti Bianco, OR Manager. “There is a shared mission within our department; ask any staff member what their job is and they will tell you it is to create the safest surgical experience for the patient – every patient, every time.”
“Surgery is an integral part of healthcare,” continued Bianco. “While complications can occur, they are preventable through attention to every detail, communication, and teamwork. The high rating by Consumer Reports confirms what we all have worked very hard to accomplish here in Iron Mountain for our patients. To date in 2013, we have had zero surgical site infections.”
Voluntary participation in the Michigan Hospital Association’s (MHA) Keystone Quality Initiative has been an important driver of patient safety within the operating room arena. At the core of this Initiative is the check list; a list of items specific to the OR, and comprised of evidence based surgical practices, that must occur to increase patient safety. This check list has been fully implemented into every surgical procedure performed at Dickinson Memorial Hospital and joins the information already gathered through the pre-anesthesia teaching and testing process (PATT), the patient interview
done by the anesthesiologist, and patient information received from the surgeon and referring physician.
A Time Out conducted as part of the Keystone checklist gives the surgical team a second chance to review and double check critical information prior to the start of the surgical procedure.
The daily Team Huddle includes a group of key surgical team members. The group reviews the upcoming day’s schedule of procedures and addresses all concerns. The concerns may be related to safety, equipment, supplies, or those that could cause a delay. The Huddle has improved the efficiency of the Operating Room, which also impacts patient safety.
Finally, strict adherence to the national CMS Core Measures also contributes to surgical safety and quality at Dickinson Memorial Hospital.
Along with Dickinson Memorial Hospital, Bell Hospital in Ishpeming and Portage Health in Hancock rated high in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Dickinson Memorial Hospital ranked higher than the following Wisconsin hospitals: Aurora BayCare and St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette, and Froedert Memorial Hospital in Milwaukee.
Consumer Reports decided to conduct the study because most patients are not aware of how to select a hospital when surgery is needed. Many simply seek care based on the recommendations of friends and relatives or go to where their physician refers them. Hospitals report surgical data to state and national officials and to national registries, but the information is not easily accessible to the general public. The Consumer Report ratings were based upon the percentage of a hospital’s surgery patients who died in the hospital or stayed longer than expected for their procedure. Additional information is available at ConsumerReports.org/hospitalratings.