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Hospital Quality Study Finds Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital Top Five Percent in Nation

February 21, 2012

HealthGrades Distinction is Based on Outstanding Patient Outcomes Across 26 Medical Procedures and Diagnoses

DENVER, Colo. (Jan. 24, 2012)– HealthGrades, a leading source of health care provider information, today announced it has named Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital as a Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™. This prestigious distinction places Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital among the top five percent of hospitals nationwide for clinical performance.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, released today, objectively identifies those hospitals with the best overall clinical performance across 26 medical diagnoses and procedures that the organization rates. These 263 top-performing hospitals represent only five percent of the nation’s hospitals, and each is designated as a HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™.

“Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital can be proud of the contributions of its physicians, nurses and staff in achieving outstanding patient care,” said Kristin Reed, HealthGrades vice president of hospital ratings and author of the study. “The Denver community is fortunate to have access to some of the highest quality hospital care in the nation.”

Saint Joseph recently converted to private rooms, adding another measure of efficiency and patient safety. The hospital also opened a new Ortho-Neuro facility. And Saint Joseph is currently building what will be the newest, most modern hospital in Colorado, adjacent to its current facility. The new hospital will open in late 2014.

“This recognition is the result of our associates’ daily focus on patient safety and satisfaction,” said Exempla Saint Joseph President and CEO Bain Farris. “We also benefit from an active partnership of more than 40 years with the Colorado Permanente Medical Group, as well as a 138 year partnership with our community physicians. These relationships make Saint Joseph unique in our community and contribute to the quality care our patients receive.”

Unlike other hospital quality studies, HealthGrades evaluates hospitals solely on clinical outcomes: risk-adjusted mortality and hospital complications. HealthGrades’ analysis is based on approximately 40 million Medicare discharges for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. Using these top-performing hospitals as a benchmark in this year’s HealthGrades study, HealthGrades quantifies the impact of differences in hospital quality in terms of lives lost and unexpected complications.

The HealthGrades study found that:

  • Distinguished Hospitals can be found in 38 states. The top cities for hospital quality, determined by having the highest percentage of Distinguished Hospitals in a Designated Market Area (DMA), are found in 26 states.
  • Specifically, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had a 30.07 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and a 1.86% lower risk-adjusted in-hospital complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries compared to all other hospitals. 
  • In fact, if all hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence, 165,704 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved and 6,800 Medicare in-hospital complications could potentially have been avoided.

About Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital
Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital was founded in Denver in 1873 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, Kansas as the first, private hospital in Colorado. Today, it continues as the largest private, teaching hospital in Denver. The hospital provides health care that includes compassionate caregivers, stellar clinical expertise and an active partnership with both physicians from the Colorado Permanente Medical Group as well as community physicians.

HealthGrades Hospital Quality Distinctions
As part of this study, HealthGrades evaluates each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in 26 procedures and diagnoses, allowing individuals to compare their local hospitals online at www.healthgrades.com. HealthGrades hospital quality distinctions are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being evaluated, and no hospital pays to be evaluated. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared equally.

About HealthGrades
HealthGrades, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a leading provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. More than 200 million consumers use the HealthGrades websites, including www.HealthGrades.com and www.BetterMedicine.com, to research, select, and connect with a physician or hospital, and use its comprehensive information about clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, patient safety, and health conditions to make more informed healthcare decisions and take action. Find more information about our products and services at HealthGrades.com. Follow us on Twitter ( @HealthGrades) and Facebook for news and updates. More information on how HealthGrades guides Americans to their best health can be found at www.healthgrades.com.