Berkshire Medical Center Honored for Bariatric Surgery and Women’s Health

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems has announced that Berkshire Medical Center has achieved the 2013 Bariatric Surgery Excellence Award and the 2013 Women’s Health Excellence Award from Healthgrades, the leading online resource that helps consumers search for, compare, and connect with physicians and hospitals.
The recognitions distinguish BMC as a top-performing hospital in bariatric weight-loss surgery and in women’s health, which includes care provided to women for common conditions and procedures treated in the hospital.
 “We are proud of the exceptional quality of care our physicians, nurses, and staff deliver to our community in all specialties,” said David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. “The excellent outcomes that have resulted from BMC’s surgical weight-loss program and our women’s health services give our community confidence that the care they receive right here at home is on par with the most elite hospitals in the nation.”
According to Evan Marks, Strategy and Clinical Informatics, Healthgrades, recent data on obesity prevalence show that more than one-third of Americans, or roughly 78 million, are now obese. “For those consumers considering bariatric surgery, the Healthgrades report underscores the importance of understanding all of one’s treatment options and the need to select a hospital accordingly. The Healthgrades 2013 Bariatric Surgery Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional performance and a dedicated approach when it comes to bariatric care.”
For the report, Healthgrades analyzed clinical outcomes of 204,069 bariatric-surgery discharges from 467 hospitals in 18 states where data are publicly available from 2009 through 2011. Healthgrades measured hospital performance based on risk-adjusted in-hospital complications, or preventable problems patients had during their hospital stay.
Patients having bariatric surgery at hospitals with five-star performance in bariatric surgery are 71{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} less likely to experience in-hospital complications than patients at hospitals with one star and 46{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} less likely at hospitals with three stars. If all hospitals from 2009 through 2011 had performed at the level of hospitals with five stars, 6,417 patients could have potentially avoided a major in-hospital complication.
Regarding the women’s health recognition, “women tend to fare worse than men in the treatment of significant medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, so it is important for women to understand their risks and select a hospital accordingly,” said Dr. Brad Bowman, chief medical officer for Healthgrades. “The Healthgrades 2013 Women’s Health Excellence Award recipients have demonstrated exceptional performance and a dedicated approach to delivering superior quality of care for women.”
Recipient hospitals have the potential to save women’s lives, he noted. Compared to hospitals that performed in the bottom 10{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} from 2009 through 2011, Healthgrades Women’s Health Excellence Award recipients as a group had a 55{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} lower mortality rate across eight conditions and procedures and a 21{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} lower complication rate across seven conditions and procedures. If all hospitals nationwide performed at the level of the award-recipient hospitals, 46,317 women’s lives could have potentially been saved, and 21,285 women could have potentially avoided in-hospital complications.