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FINGER LAKES   ADVERTISEMENT

Area hospitals match state mortality rates

FINGER LAKES—A Web site is giving people an outlet for viewing mortality ratings for New York hospitals.
Niagara Health Quality Coalition (NHQC) released the 2010 New York State Hospital Report Card on http://www.myhealthfinder.com. The Web site lists mortality rates by procedure, and a short list of patient-answered questions. Visitors to the site can look at and compare up to three hospitals side-by-side. Myhealthfinder.com also provides links to other Web sites that cover physician profiles, health plans and long-term care.
According to NHQC, the data comes from information that hospitals record mostly for billing purposes, or “administrative data.” NHQC said this information can be used to “provide important insights into the quality of care provided to patients who were admitted into the hospital.” However, whenever there were 30 or fewer patients at a hospital for a specific procedure, “no statistical analysis was performed because the results would have been less reliable.”
For the area hospitals, not all the “mortality indicators,” or reasons for a death at the hospital, had large enough sample sizes to provide statistical data. Loree MacKerchar, community relations manager at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital in Penn Yan, explained that this is because, at least for them, the hospital does not handle every kind of surgery.
However, there are some numbers for people to view and compare. For the report, the NHQC uses a three star system to rate the results. Three stars mean better than the state average, two stars mean at the state average, and one star means worse than the state average.
For instance, the report card lists the state average for Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) mortality is three percent, with the national average slightly lower at 2.8 percent. Schuyler Hospital is below that at 1.5 percent, while Ira Davenport Memorial Hospital is right between the two averages with 2.9 percent. Arnot Ogden Hospital in Elmira has a 3.7 percent rating. All three are given two stars for these results.
Finger Lakes Health/Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hospital has one star, meaning worse than state average, but it is only higher by 4.7 points. According to the report, Soldiers and Sailor’s mortality rate is 7.7 percent. Geneva General is at 5.4 percent, also with one star.
The Penn Yan hospital is at the state average in Pneumonia Mortality. The state and national averages are 4.7 percent and 4.1 percent respectively. Soldiers and Sailors has 3.6 percent. Schuyler Hospital has 4.1 percent. Arnot Ogden has a 4.2 rating. Geneva General is at 5 percent. Ira Davenport is lower still, with 2.7 percent. All five have two stars which is at state average.
The report also gives statistics on “Patient Safety Indicators,” which are injuries or infections patients may get at the hospital. This includes Iatrogenic Pneumothorax (collapsed lung). The state and national averages are low at .048 percent and .065 percent respectively. Soldiers and Sailors, and Ira Davenport both had zero percent. Schuyler Hospital, Geneva General, and Arnot Ogden have .1 percent.
The state average for accidental puncture and laceration is .284 percent, with the national average at .479 percent. Soldiers and Sailors is “at state level” with .9 percent. Geneva General has .4 percent. Arnot Ogden is at .2 percent. Schuyler Hospital has .5 percent, and Ira Davenport has zero percent.
Patient surveys compared how many people thought hospitals managed pain well, were clean, and had good communication. Soldiers and Sailors has an overall rating of 76 percent of patients giving the hospital a nine or 10, out of 10. Ira Davenport has a 50 percent rating, Geneva Genera 63 percent, and Arnot Ogden 61 percent. All four are “at state level,” which is 57 percent. The national level is 65 percent. No data in this category was available for Schuyler Hospital.
At Soldiers and Sailors and Arnot Ogden, 80 percent of patients said physicians always communicated effectively. Ira Davenport had 79 percent and Geneva General had 78 percent. The state average is 76 percent and the national average is 80 percent.
At Ira Davenport, 70 percent of patients said their pain was always well controlled. Soldiers and Sailors had 69 percent. Geneva General and Arnot Ogden are both at 68 percent. The state average is 64 percent, and the national average is 68 percent.
 


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