Quality at Bronson Methodist Hospital Highly Rated According to New Study

October 15, 2007


KALAMAZOO, Mich. – According to the Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study issued today, Bronson Methodist Hospital ranks among the top five percent of hospitals in the nation for joint replacement surgeries such as total knee and total hip replacements. It is the only hospital in the area scoring this highly on a national level.


The study also gave Bronson five-star ratings in the following areas:



  • Treatment of Heart Failure

  • Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation (two consecutive years)

  • Stroke Treatment (two consecutive years)

  • Spine Surgery

  • Back and Neck Surgery (spinal fusion)

  • Overall Orthopedic services, including primary total knee and total hip replacement surgery

  • Pneumonia (two consecutive years)

  • Repair of Abdominal Aorta (ruptured aorta or aortic aneurysm)

  • Prostatectomy (prostate surgery)


The study, the largest of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes at virtually all of the nation's 5,000 hospitals over the years 2004, 2005 and 2006.


“Patients are increasingly engaged in making personal healthcare decisions,” said Scott Larson, M.D., Bronson’s senior vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer. “This data from HealthGrades, as well as from other independent healthcare rating organizations, is a valuable, evidence-based tool to assist patients in making good choices. Our report is a credit to everyone involved with patient care at Bronson.”


HealthGrades today made available its 2008 quality ratings for virtually every hospital in the country at healthgrades.com, a Web site designed to help individuals research and compare local healthcare providers.


The Tenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study identifies key trends in the quality of hospital-based care. HealthGrades researchers analyzed Medicare discharges from virtually every U.S. hospital between 2004 and 2006. Risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates were calculated and hospitals were assigned a 1-star (poor), 3-star (as expected), or 5-star (best) quality rating for 28 diagnoses and procedures from heart failure to hip replacement to pneumonia.


“Consumers routinely use quality ratings to comparison shop for cars, appliances and travel accommodations,” said Sarah Loughran, HealthGrades executive vice president. “Our research provides patients with the information they need to make informed decisions about where to seek medical care, a decision that could mean the difference between life and death.”


“It is important for residents to know that they can find high-quality care at Bronson Methodist,” Loughran added.


Among the study’s key findings:



  • Gaps persist between the “best” and the “worst” hospitals across all procedures and conditions studied. Five-star rated hospitals had statistically significantly lower risk-adjusted mortality across all three years studied.

  • Across all procedures and conditions studied, there was an approximate 71 percent lower chance of dying in a 5-star rated hospital compared to a 1-star rated hospital.

  • Across all procedures and conditions studied, there was an approximate 52 percent lower chance of dying in a 5-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.


The 2008 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available, free of charge, on the organization’s award-winning consumer Web site, healthgrades.com. More than three million individuals and employees of some of the nation’s largest employers and health plans visit HealthGrades each month to access quality information about hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. HealthGrades also provides consumers and payers with detailed assessments of hospitals’ patient-safety outcomes, based on indicators developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


In addition to the high quality ratings from HealthGrades, Bronson Methodist Hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence; was recognized this year by VHA Inc., a national health care provider alliance, with its 2007 Leadership Award for clinical excellence; and is also rated one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.


About Bronson Methodist Hospital


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 only accredited Chest Pain Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only four children's hospitals in the state. The hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence, and was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.


Bronson Healthcare Group is one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers. For five consecutive years, it has been ranked by Working Mother magazine and for three straight years by FORTUNE as one of the nation’s 100 best companies to work for. With a workforce of more than 4,100, Bronson makes a significant contribution to the local economy. Annually, Bronson provides more than $48 million in community benefits through outreach and charitable care for the un- and under-insured.


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