Colo. Hospitals release quality-of-care statistics

Filed under: Health Care |

Consumers now have access to updated information about the quality of care provided in Colorado’s hospitals.

The Colorado Health and Hospital Association (CHA) Performance and Quality Group, which released risk-adjusted mortality information (death rates) in April 2005 detailing 11 common reasons why patients are admitted to a hospital, has updated the information to include 2004 data.

Information about all full service hospitals in Colorado can be viewed at www.hospitalquality.org. Hospitals are rated using symbols that show whether a hospital’s risk-adjusted mortality rate is not significantly different from the statewide rate, or is significantly lower or higher.

Why release the information?

“When consumers anticipate being admitted to a hospital, their No. 1 concern is about the quality of care they will receive,” said Peter Freytag, interim president and CEO of CHA. “This provides them important information. Colorado hospitals provide excellent care and consumers deserve to know this. While it is valuable information, it is just one factor consumers should consider when choosing a hospital. Consumers can use the information as the basis to talk with their doctors, hospitals, family and friends when deciding where to seek care.”

Risk-adjusted mortality has been shown to have a relationship with quality. These mortality rates are not about medical errors or unexpected deaths. Patients are admitted to hospitals because of illness or injuries, many of which are life threatening. Deaths occur because of trauma, serious illnesses and the natural progression of disease.

The CHA Performance and Quality Group, which released the information, is comprised of representatives from 12 health care, business and governmental organizations. The group was formed in October 2003 to identify quality measures that are appropriate, understandable, reliable, replicable and relevant to Coloradoans and to oversee the release of the information to ensure its accuracy and usefulness.

The initial release had data for 2001, 2002, and 2003. 2004 has been added and CHA expects 2005 data to be available later this year.

Kaiser Permanente wins award for online programs

The Adapted Business Leaders (ABL) organization has awarded the Innovations in Healthcare Award to Kaiser Permanente for its “Healthy Lifestyles” online programs that offer members Web-enabled behavior change interventions around critical health issues such as weight loss, physical fitness, stress reduction and smoking cessation.

The programs are tailored in to provide personalized health advice to each individual based upon an initial assessment of his or her current health risks, family history, health beliefs, personal goals, motivations and barriers to success. The programs are available in English and Spanish.

The ABL is a roundtable of CEOs from health care or technology companies headquartered along the west coast between San Diego and San Francisco. The focus is on developing strategies and operations in industries marked by waves of change and innovation. Kaiser Permanente’s Internet Services Group won in the Consumer Empowerment category, whose criteria included the significance of the program, scalability of the solution, and performance metrics associated with the solution.

“The online Healthy Lifestyles program empowers our Kaiser Permanente members to achieve real improvement in their health,” said Christine Paige, senior vice president, marketing and Internet services. “It is one more way in which we encourage our members to thrive.”

More than150,000 Kaiser Permanente members nationwide have enrolled in these programs since 2004.

Kaiser Permanente serves more than 8.5 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia.

Parkview employees earn emergency certificates

More than 20 Parkview Medical Center employees who are involved in emergency preparedness have received certificates of completion for an introductory class into National Incident Management System.

The NIMS concept provides a nationwide approach for federal, state and local governments to work together to prepare for, respond to and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of size or complexity.

In 2003, President Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, which directed the secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer a National Incident Management System. HSPD-5 requires federal departments and agencies to make the adoption of NIMS by state and local organizations a condition for federal preparedness assistance.

“Parkview Medical Center has been an active participant in preparing for incidents that would strain our communities’ resources,” said C.W. Smith, CEO. “We have participated annually in a countywide disaster drill for more than a decade and now we are embracing the opportunity to meet the NIMS training guidelines, to better prepare in the event of a disaster. ”

Fast food nemesis Eric Schlosser book signing

Eric Schlosser, the author of “Fast Food Nation,” will attend a book signing to raise money for injured meat packing plant workers on July 20 at the Ranch Steakhouse.

Schlosser’s appearance in the Springs is timed to coincide with the release of a movie based on the book, as well as the introduction of “Chew on This,” a book about the fast-food industry targeted to teens.

Space is limited. Tickets are $60 per person. Call Randy Rodriguez at 593-1955 for reservations. Activities start at 6 p.m.

Amy Gillentine covers health care for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.