Published: 03/17/2011

Study: Evangelical Community Hospital Among Top 5 Percent in the Nation for Patient Safety


Top5PercentEvangelical Community Hospital was identified as a recipient of the 2011 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ for the fourth consecutive year, indicating that its patient safety ratings are consistently in the top five percent of US hospitals. In a new study released today by HealthGrades, the nation's most trusted source of healthcare provider information, Evangelical is one of only 268 hospitals in the country to receive this designation. The Lewisburg hospital is also one of only three facilities in Pennsylvania to achieve this honor for four years in a row.

The study finds that Medicare patients at Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals were 46.26 percent less likely to experience a patient safety event during the time period studied.

If all hospitals performed at this level of distinction, approximately 174,358 patient safety events and 20,688 Medicare deaths could have been avoided. This would have saved the federal government approximately $1.8 billion in excess healthcare costs from 2007 – 2009.

The eighth annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study analyzed nearly 40 million hospitalization records from approximately 5,000 hospitals nationwide that participate in the Medicare program. Participation in the HealthGrades study is not voluntary, and hospitals cannot choose to opt out of the analysis.

”It is an honor to receive the HealthGrades Patient Safety Award and have our efforts recognized,” Evangelical President and CEO Michael N. O’Keefe said. “Patient safety is a part of our overall culture here at Evangelical Community Hospital. It is a top priority and a responsibility that our caregivers take very seriously.”

“We’ve seen great advances in medical care in the last few decades, but along with these miraculous advances come greater and greater risks. Hospitals like Evangelical have shown that it is possible to provide the best in medical care while still focusing on the safety of the patient,” said Rick May, MD, vice president of Clinical Quality Improvement at HealthGrades and co-author of the study.

J. Lawrence Ginsburg, MD, MMM, Evangelical’s Vice President—Medical Affairs has worked collaboratively with the medical and clinical staff on several projects to further ensure patient safety.

“A very important aspect of patient safety is communication between the caregiver and the patient. We’ve adopted the Universal Patient Compact, which is a statement of principles from the National Patient Safety Foundation,” Dr. Ginsburg noted. “It defines important promises for both patients and caregivers to help ensure safe care, what we as your healthcare partner pledge to do, and what the patient should pledge to do as well.” The Universal Patient Compact includes 14 pledges for caregivers, such as including the patient as a member of the team, providing information to the patient in a way that he or she can understand, communicating openly about benefits and risks associated with treatments. The patient’s part in the Compact includes 14 pledges as well, including being a responsible and active member of the healthcare team, telling the care team what medications he or she is taking, and participating in decisions about his or her care.

“When all members of the healthcare team, including the patient, follow these basic rules for mutual honesty, respect and compassion, the entire healthcare experience becomes safer and better,” Dr. Ginsburg said.

To help prepare patients for surgery or inpatient care, the Hospital recently completed a patient orientation video. “The brief video covers many facets of care to help patients understand what to expect when they come to our hospital, our patient safety policies, and why it is important for us to follow them consistently,” Dr. Ginsburg explained.

Additionally, “patient safety walkrounds” are performed by Dr. Ginsburg and others on a monthly basis, visiting with nursing floors throughout the Hospital. They talk with physicians, nurses and other caregivers to assess current patient safety protocols and drive the development of new ones . “Working directly with the employees who know how certain procedures really work is an important part of truly understanding the care each of our patients receives,” Dr. Ginsburg said.

Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties.

For more information on this release, please contact:
Lizz Hendricks
Public Relations
(570) 522-4160