New Study Ranks Bronson in Nation's Top 5% for Emergency Medical Care

June 23, 2010


KALAMAZOO, Mich. — HealthGrades, a leading independent healthcare ratings organization, announced today that Bronson Methodist Hospital is one of just 255 hospitals in the nation, and the only one in southwest Michigan, ranked in the nation's top 5% for emergency medical care.


The achievement is based on the first annual HealthGrades Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals Study which examined more than 5 million Medicare records of patients admitted through the emergency rooms of 4,907 hospitals from 2006 to 2008. The study found that the quality of emergency medical care at the nation's hospitals varies widely – both individually and by state, and that if all hospitals performed at the level of the top 5%, 118,014 lives could potentially have been saved.


As an accredited chest pain emergency center, certified stroke center, Level I trauma center and southwest Michigan's only children's hospital, Bronson is a major destination for emergencies affecting patients of all ages. At present, its emergency department is the largest in the region providing care to more than 83,000 patients annually.


Bronson President and CEO Frank Sardone says, "This study provides an objective evaluation of outcomes for our most critically ill patients and demonstrates that the quality and timeliness of care in the emergency department has a direct impact on survival. Our staff's expertise in effectively coordinating the full range of specialists and resources needed for each emergency situation, combined with excellent teamwork, is a driving force behind Bronson's top ranked performance. Having all private rooms, proven to reduce the risk of infection, further contributes to safety and improved outcomes for our patients."


As with all HealthGrades studies of hospital quality, the data comes from governmental sources and no hospital can opt in or out of being rated. The analysis is based on risk-adjusted mortality outcomes for patients admitted through the emergency department for eleven of the most common life-threatening diagnoses in the Medicare population. They are: bowel obstruction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetic acidosis and coma, gastrointestinal bleed, heart attack, pancreatitis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure, sepsis and stroke.


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. These top-performing hospitals also improved their outcomes over the years 2006 through 2008 at a faster rate than all other hospitals, 16% compared with 10%.


"The CDC found that fifty percent of hospital admissions now begin with hospital emergency rooms, up from 36% in 1996, and that is expected to rise with the recent health reform legislation," says Rick May MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and co-author of the study. "With this study, HealthGrades is identifying hospitals with superior patient outcomes to educate consumers as well as to set data-driven benchmarks that other hospitals need to examine closely."


Annually in the U.S., 119 million individuals visit a hospital emergency room. The most common causes for 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.


A full copy of the study can be found at healthgrades.com


Bronson Methodist Hospital has consistently ranked among the nation's top hospitals for healthcare quality. It is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence. In 2009, Bronson received the AHA McKesson Quest for Quality Prize awarded annually to only one U.S. hospital, was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals by Thomson Reuters, and joined the top five percent of hospitals in the nation to be designated a Magnet Hospital for Nursing Excellence. Bronson is also ranked in the top 5% of hospitals in the nation as a 2009 and 2010 HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence.


State Trends
More than half of the hospitals in the top 5% in the nation for emergency medicine were in only five states: Ohio (37), Florida (28), California (27), Michigan (21) and Illinois (19).


Mississippi, Alabama and Hawaii had the worst risk-adjusted mortality for patients admitted through the emergency department while Ohio, Arizona and Michigan had the lowest for the eleven conditions studied.


For the eleven conditions studied, Rhode Island, Delaware and Connecticut had the highest percentage of admissions through the emergency department, all between 86% and 89%, while South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas had the lowest percentage of admissions through the emergency department (49%, 51% and 58%, respectively).


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About Bronson Methodist Hospital (bronsonhealth.com)
Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 380 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty — cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology — with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region's first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only five children's hospitals in the state. Bronson serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients in the area and provides a substantial benefit to the community each year through outreach and charitable care.


About HealthGrades (healthgrades.com)
Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGRD) is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades' quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades Network of Web sites, including HealthGrades.com and WrongDiagnosis.com, is a top-five health property according to ComScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers.



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