By Tom Wilemon, The Tennessean
Nashville, which bills itself as the nation's health-care industry capital, could not crack into the 50 "Top Cities for Hospital Care," but three other Tennessee metropolitan areas did.
ranked seventh, Knoxville placed 20th and the Tri-Cities came in at
number 34 on a list released today by Health Grades Inc. The comparison
is based on mortality and complication rates among Medicare patients.
Health Grades recognized hospitals that achieved clinical excellence,
then compared cities according to the percentage of their hospitals that
made the mark.
Only one Nashville hospital - Saint Thomas - received the quality citation.
The company, which lets consumers rate medical providers on its website, www.healthgrades.com,
looked at the 26 most common diagnoses and procedures for Medicare
patients, ranging from bowel obstruction to knee replacement.
"This is about 40 million records," said Kristin Reed, the Health Grades executive
who authored the report. "It is every Medicare hospitalization from
2008 to 2010 for those 26 diagnoses and procedures. Those are the
highest volume conditions for Medicare patients."
Grades has evaluated hospitals for more than a decade, but last year it
began using the citations to compare cities. Nashville didn't make that
list either. Memphis ranked 45th then but slipped out of the top 50
list this year.
in Nashville are committed to improving quality outcomes at their
hospitals, said Sophie Moore, director of communications for the
Nashville Health Care Council, an association of more than 200 members.
part of our mission to further establish Nashville's position as the
nation's health-care industry capital, the council works to connect our
members to the top experts, policymakers and thought leaders
from across the country at events throughout the year," Moore said.
"Our members have a strong commitment to operating high-quality
facilities as evidenced by their interest in the topics featured,
including health reform and health IT that both relate specifically to
Chattanooga moved up from ninth position to the seventh spot. Knoxville did not make last year's list.
Baltimore tops list
in and near Tennessee recognized for distinguished clinical excellence
include Memorial Healthcare System and Hamilton Medical Center
(Chattanooga area), Blount Memorial Hospital and Methodist Medical
Center of Oak Ridge (Knoxville area), Saint Thomas Hospital (Nashville
area), and Indian Path Medical Center (Tri-Cities area.)
Only markets with four or more hospitals were evaluated.
delighted that we have hospitals in Tennessee continuing to be added to
the list and to show improvement," said Chris Clarke, a senior vice
president with the Tennessee Hospital Association. "We're always
delighted when any part of our state shows up as a good place to get
city for hospital care, per the ranking, is Baltimore, where nine
hospitals - 47 percent within that market - got quality citations.
in Tennessee have worked closely together to improve quality of care
outcomes since 2007 when the THA established the Tennessee Center for
Patient Safety. Since then, hospitals have reduced central
line-associated bloodstream infections and are working on other fronts.
Clarke said a basic goal is to deploy best practices sooner.
are lots of studies nationally that show from the time evidence comes
out in research to the time that we deploy it at the front lines with
doctors and nurses in every patient scenario - not just occasionally -
there is a huge gap," Clarke said. "It takes more than 10 years before
that is embedded as a standard of practice."