Cooley Dickinson Ranked in Top 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} for Patient Safety

NORTHAMPTON — Cooley Dickinson Hospital has been ranked in the top 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of all U.S. hospitals in patient safety by HealthGrades, the country’s leading independent health care ratings organization.

Cooley Dickinson is one of just 12 hospitals in Massachusetts to receive the 2011 recognition. It is the only hospital in the Springfield area to achieve the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award for three consecutive years.

“Achieving this recognition for a third year is a direct result of our doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, and staff taking the steps necessary to ensure that our patients receive safe, high-quality care,” said Craig Melin, president and CEO of Cooley Dickinson. “Being among only 268 hospitals in the country that HealthGrades recognizes with this award demonstrates our staff’s continuous focus on improving quality for our patients.”

He added that, “while we’re pleased as a hospital to be recognized, the ultimate beneficiary of our safety efforts is our patients.”

Patients at hospitals in the top 5{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} experienced 46{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} fewer patient safety errors, on average, compared to poorly performing hospitals, according to HealthGrades. In addition, if all hospitals performed at this level, HealthGrades estimates that 174,358 patient-safety events and 20,688 Medicare deaths nationwide could potentially be avoided.

HealthGrades used Medicare data and 13 patient safety indicators from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to calculate patient-safety incidence rates for the nation’s hospitals. These indicators identify the best-performing organizations; HealthGrades said it developed the Patient Safety Excellence Award to give patients more information about choosing a hospital.

Dr. Rick May, vice president of clinical quality improvement at HealthGrades, is co-author of the eighth annual study. “We’ve seen great advances in medical care in the last few decades, but along with these miraculous advances come greater and greater risks,” he said. “Hospitals like Cooley Dickinson have shown definitively that it is possible to provide the best in medical care while still focusing on the safety of the patient.”

The HealthGrades analysis used the following patient safety indicators: foreign bodies left in after procedures, death in low-mortality diagnostic-related groupings, pressure ulcers (bedsores), death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications (previously known as ‘failure to rescue’), iatrogenic pneumothorax (collapsed lung), catheter-related bloodstream infections, post-operative hip fractures, post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma, post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements, post-operative respiratory failure, post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, post-operative sepsis, and post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence (premature opening along the sutures).