An Important Message About Quality From Our CEO
From Our CEO Gary Herbst
Our goal is to always do what is best for our patients and earn the highest
possible hospital quality and safety ratings. Several times a year, usually
in Spring and in Fall, we receive notification that several reports on
quality will be released to the general public. You may be familiar with
some of them.
These reports show that while we have made progress in some areas we still
have opportunities for improvement.
It can be hard to make sense of the different interpretations of quality
these reports paint for one organization, but an important takeaway is
that long before these reports were ever publicly released, we took action,
put plans in place, and today, are making progress in many areas that
they highlight. Many times, the findings can vary because organizations have their own
methodologies for coming up with scores, grades, or rankings and sometimes
they focus on different years of data. But as an organization, we always
know where we stand with quality. Our Quality and Patient Safety Department
is dedicated to tracking quality in real-time and we have 45 committees
studying the care that we provide on a case-by-case basis. Their mission
is to determine whether we followed national, evidence-based safe practices
and if not, how we can in the future.
The full reports, along with their methodologies are available online,
and we encourage you to take a look at them and ask us any questions.
I will highlight a few such findings. Our Healthgrades clinical achievements,
which are released once a year, are numerous. They have named us one of
America’s best 50 Best Hospitals™ for Cardiac Surgery and
one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals™ for Cardiac Care, according
to a national study released this week by Healthgrades. Kaweah Delta is
just one of seven hospitals in California, and the only one in the Central
Valley, to receive the distinction as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals™
in Cardiac Surgery. Additionally, it is one of only 10 hospitals in California,
and the only one in the Central Valley, to be named one of America’s
100 Best Hospitals for Overall Cardiac Care.
Healthgrades ranked us among the top 5 percent in the nation for stroke,
cardiac surgery, and overall pulmonary services in 2019 and in the top
10 percent in the nation for overall cardiac services. They also have
us earning five-stars in the following areas, in some cases for two or
more consecutive years:
- Coronary bypass surgery
- Treatment of heart attack
- Hip Fracture Treatment
- Treatment of stroke
- Treatment of pneumonia
- Esophageal/stomach surgeries
- Gallbladder removal surgery
- Treatment of sepsis
- Treatment of respiratory failure.
We will hear more about these areas throughout the year as they are a testament
to the tireless work of the Medical team and Hospital staff.
Other reports confirmed opportunities for improvement. We expect our local
media may be reporting on some of these areas, one of which will include
our work to reduce Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) infections.
Our most recent internal data shows significant improvements in our work
to reduce this infection through prevention initiatives.
Our work to track quality around-the-clock, and not just when quality reports
are made public, allows us to improve our infection prevention experience
for our community. We are making steady progress through a variety of
initiatives, including educating staff about best practices for patient
safety, enhancing patient safety with CPOE (Computerized Physician Order
Entry), and a new collaborative with Johns Hopkins Medical Center. We
are encouraged by our progress and look forward to the Spring release
of these patient and safety quality reports. We believe at that time,
the hard work our Medical team and Hospital staff have done and will continue
to do, will show that in the areas where we need to, we have improved
and we are delivering the highest levels of care for our community.