Berkshire Medical Center Ranked in Top 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} Nationally for Quality

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Medical Center announced today that it has been ranked among the nation’s top 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of hospitals, according to an independent study of mortality and complication rates for nearly 5,000 hospitals released by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading health care ratings company.

Berkshire Medical Center has achieved HealthGrades’ 2009 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence based on its clinical quality performance. According to the HealthGrades study, patients admitted to a hospital receiving this award are, on average, 27{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} less likely to die and 8{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} less likely to suffer from a major complication. This year, only 270 of the nation’s nearly 5,000 non-federal hospitals, and only two in the state of Massachusetts, will receive this distinction.

The HealthGrades study also found that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence are improving their patient outcomes at a greater rate in more procedures and diagnoses than all other hospitals, lowering risk-adjusted mortality rates over the years 2005, 2006, and 2007 by an average of 18{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5}.

“This kind of clinical achievement does not happen overnight,” said David E. Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems. “The physicians, nurses, and staff at Berkshire Medical Center, with leadership and support from the BHS Board of Trustees, have for the past several years been working continually to further improve the care that we deliver to our community. This national recognition, where Berkshire Medical Center is ranked among the best hospitals in the nation, reflects the dedication of Berkshire Health Systems and all of our staff to provide the best and safest care possible.”

The hospitals that have been designated as Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence have, across the board, been leaders in their commitment to delivering the highest quality patient care, said Dr. Samantha Collier, HealthGrades chief medical officer. “Consumers can choose where they receive their health care, and our study again highlights the tremendous disparity in quality between hospitals.”

In 2009, Berkshire Medical Center also achieved several other HealthGrades quality designations. It received the HealthGrades Pulmonary Care Excellence Award, ranking number one in Massachusetts for critical care, pulmonary care, and gastrointestinal medical treatment; was five-star-rated for treatment of heart attack and stroke; and ranked among the top five hospitals in Massachusetts for bariatric surgery.

“At Berkshire Medical Center, we have a highly skilled and dedicated team of clinicians and employees,” said Diane Kelly, RN, chief operating officer of Berkshire Medical Center. “These honors are the result of their efforts and commitment to excellence across all disciplines of care and in each and every department at BMC.”

This is the seventh year that HealthGrades has independently analyzed the clinical quality performance of all non-federal hospitals across the country in 26 procedures and diagnoses. In the Distinguished Hospital Study, the company reviewed nearly 41 million hospitalization records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over the years 2005, 2006, and 2007.

All hospitals that participate in the Medicare program were part of the independent study. Hospitals that receive the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that rank in the top 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} when all 26 individual scores are aggregated into an overall score.

A full copy of the study is available at www.healthgrades.com.

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