Local hospitals make the grade in care

Hospitals across the country eagerly await the annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study — a report that studies health care provider information and releases results that tell the story of how patients are treated and the quality of care they receive.

Locally, our hospitals fared pretty well.

Beebe Medical Center in Lewes has been designated as a HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence for the second year in a row. Peninsula Regional Medical Center (PRMC), in Salisbury, Md., has now received that distinction three years in a row. This designation goes to the top 5 percent hospitals in the nation for clinical care.

Statistically speaking, the hospitals that received this distinction had a 29.82 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and a 1.91 percent lower risk-adjusted in-hospital complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries to all other hospitals, according to a statement released by Beebe.

That’s pretty heady stuff, and both facilities are proud to receive the distinction.

“The award recognizes the attention to detail and to continuously improving processes that has made our clinical outcomes among the best in the nation,” said Jeffrey M. Fried, president and CEO of Beebe Medical Center. “For example, we have implemented life-saving quality-care measures for those with stroke, which led to our certification by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center.”

“It’s rare to be honored once, even more so twice, but to have HealthGrades present this award to us three years in a row is quite wonderful,” said Dr. Peggy Naleppa, president and CEO of PRMC. “It epitomizes exceptional healthcare provided by the exceptional people who every day help us move this Medical Center from very good to great.”

This is a terrific honor to both facilities and should be encouraging news for everybody who lives in this community. We’ve all heard various complaints over the years regarding local medical care, but numbers rarely lie. And those numbers state that both these facilities help their patients better than 95 percent of the other hospitals out there. And that’s what it ultimately comes down to — caring for patients.

We congratulate both of these facilities for their recent recognition, as well as every doctor, nurse, technician and unsung employee and volunteer who do so much to provide this area with top-shelf medical care. It is an achievement in which to take pride, and to build on in the future.