Flaget Memorial Named One of Top 100 Hospitals in Nation for Fifth Year
For the fifth time, Flaget Memorial has been honored as one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S. in an annual ranking of the nation’s 3,000 acute-care general hospitals.
“This is another milestone in the history of Flaget,” said Flaget President Bruce Klockars, FACHE. “For the fifth year, Flaget Memorial has been named to the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Benchmarks for Success list. Flaget earned this honor in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and now again in 2011. This is an outstanding achievement.”
Flaget’s people make the difference, Klockars said.
“I could not be more proud of our staff’s efforts to make Flaget such a safe, caring and financially strong hospital that serves the needs of our community,” he said. “The criteria for this award are rigorous, and they are national in scope. Our community leaders, management team, physicians, employees and volunteers deserve many thanks for their commitment to excellence.”
As a 100 Top Hospital, Flaget is one of the best in the nation in providing care that is effective, safe, and patient-centered, according to Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, Thomson Reuters Performance Improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs.
“Flaget has systems in place to safeguard patients from medical errors, provides treatments proven to get results, and delivers effective care at a reasonable cost,” Chenoweth said. “The hospital is also a financially stable employer with high scores in patient satisfaction.”
The data for the 2011 study were collected from a number of public sources, including federal Medicare statistics. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay, to receive this honor. Thomson Reuters, an independent firm that performs the annual study, compared each hospital to peer hospitals in five categories: major teaching hospital, teaching hospital, large community hospital, medium community hospital and small community hospital. Flaget Memorial was among only 20 facilities nationwide to set new standards in the small hospital division. Only three other Kentucky hospitals were named to the Top 100 in the nation in 2011, including Saint Joseph East, Flaget’s sister hospital, which claimed the award in the medium community hospitals division.
The other Kentucky hospitals that won were St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood and Harlan ARH Hospital in Harlan.
Flaget Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer Sue Downs, R.N., M.S.N., said striving for continuous quality improvement is the major reason the hospital has been named one of the national winners for five years.
“We work as a team to constantly measure, review and improve performance,” she said. “Every year we set higher standards – and we meet them.”
Earning national recognition is solid evidence that those benchmarks are being met, said Dr. Mark Abramovich, chief of Flaget’s medical staff.
“We are excited to see that our efforts to provide high-quality care are saving more lives and reducing the incidence of complications.”
To Thomson Reuters’ Chenoweth, the 100 Top Hospitals are raising the bar for health care nationwide, she said.
“We estimate that if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care that patients do in the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals, more than 116,000 additional patients would survive each year,” she said. In addition,
--more than 197,000 patient complications would be avoided annually;
--expense per discharge would drop by $462;
--and the average patient stay would decrease by half a day.
Benchmark hospitals are identified by the following measures, Chenoweth said:
--high survival rates for patients, and low complication rates;
--high patient safety;
--using benchmark national treatment standards for all heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgery patients;
--and a high level of efficiency in terms of length of patient stay and average expense. In the best hospitals, patients return to their daily lives faster, and costs are lower, she said.
“A high-performing hospital is well-managed financially so it can attract the best health care professionals and expand services to improve results for patients,” Chenoweth said. “A 100 Top Hospital, as a major employer, is financially strong and can pay good salaries, support the local economy and invest in new technologies. Flaget has emerged for the fifth year as that kind of hospital.”
“Providing the best patient care possible is what we strive for every day,” he said. “Patients can feel comfortable knowing they’re receiving care at a facility that is among the best in the nation.”
Flaget Memorial Hospital is a member of Saint Joseph Health System, a 1,012-bed, eight-facility health care system that spans central and eastern Kentucky. Saint Joseph Health System is a member of Catholic Health Initiatives, the nation’s third-largest Catholic health care system. Visit www.SaintJosephHealthSystem.org for further information.