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What quality health care means to MCH
February 17, 2012
Written by Freb Kolb, Madison County Hospital CEO
Businesses use the word "quality" a lot to describe their product and services. Sometimes the word is used so much, that we forget the meaning or why it is important.
In health care, the word "quality" means more than satisfactory service or an excellent product. "Quality" means that the care you are provided helps you stay healthy and recover faster.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality helps explain clinical quality this way:
"Getting quality health care is like taking your car to a mechanic. The people in the shop can be friendly and listen to your complaints, but the most important thing is whether they fix the problem with your car."
Here at Madison County Hospital, we take clinical quality very seriously. Every staff member is working to make sure you and your family receive the utmost quality care.
How do we ensure that we are following the procedures necessary for quality care? There are a number of measures in place that help us stay on track.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has created a list of best practices, or core measures, for hospitals to follow when treating certain conditions, such as heart failure or pneumonia, and when performing certain procedures, such as surgery.
The most recent Ohio Hospital Association (OHA) data shows that we are a best practice hospital in 24 of 43 core measures and 80+ percent compliant in an additional 10 measures.
Another quality measure is the rate of healthcare acquired infections. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 1 out of every 20 hospitalized patient will contract a healthcare acquired infection. MCH had no healthcare acquired infections in 2011.
At MCH we feel that caring for our patients not only means clinical quality, but compassionate care and excellent service. For that reason, we examine customer service surveys in addition to quality measurements.
Using mailed surveys, customer comment cards, emails, letters, and phone calls, we listen to what our patients have to say about our service. In 2011, 61 percent of the comments we received from patients were compliments.
The hospital also looks at HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems). HCAHPS is a survey conducted at hospitals throughout the country that asks patients about their experiences during a recent hospital stay.
There are 10 areas of interest that HCAHPS examines. Last year, MCH scored better than the national average in 9 out of 10 areas. Of our patients surveyed, 82 percent reported that their nurses "always" communicated well and 88 percent report that their doctors "always" communicated well. When asked if they received help as soon as they wanted, 74 percent responded "always," which is 10 points higher then the national average.
If you are interested in learning more about hospital quality measurements and HCAHPS scores, visit the website www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.
Because the data provided on this website has to be collected, reviewed, and validated before it is posted, the information displayed is about a year old. At MCH, we monitor our own rates each month through quality improvement teams to make sure we stay on track with both high quality and customer service rates.
It is our privilege to provide quality care and exceptional service to the Madison County community. Moving into our 50th year, we strive to continue a legacy of excellence. I would like to thank our physicians, staff, donors, and volunteers who always put our patients first. I would also like to thank all of you for trusting us with your care for the past 50 years.