Date: 4/21/2010

Community Hospital Tops Nation in Women’s Care Two Years in a Row, according to HealthGrades®

Study finds 16,863 Women’s Lives could have been Saved if all Hospitals Performed at Five-Star Level

For a second consecutive year, Community Hospital in Munster has received the Women’s Health Excellence Award™ from HealthGrades®, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. A review of women’s care at nearly 5,000 hospitals found Community Hospital to be among the top 5% in the nation, with only 117 other hospitals attaining this same distinction two years in a row. The award is based on a newly released study of patient outcomes for providing care to women in 16 procedures/diagnoses relating to women’s health outcomes.

As a group, hospitals receiving this award had women’s risk-adjusted mortality rates that were 41% lower than the poorest performing hospitals in the study and complication rates that were 19% lower than the poorest performers. While all hospitals, on average, continued to improve their mortality rates among women, those receiving the award improved at a faster rate than all others over the three years studied, 15% compared with 12%.

Earlier this year, HealthGrades named Community Hospital in Munster as an America’s 50 Best HospitalTM for a third consecutive year, placing it in the top one percent of all hospitals in the nation for quality outcomes. Other specialty areas Community Hospital is ranked by HealthGrades as among the Top 5% in the nation include overall orthopedic services; overall pulmonary services; treatment of stroke; overall vascular surgery; gastrointestinal surgery and medical treatment. Community Hospital is also ranked by HealthGrades as among the Top 10% in the nation for overall critical care, joint replacement and prostatectomy surgery.

“It takes a dedicated team of physicians, specialists, clinical staff and nurses to continue to deliver the highest quality care to residents, particularly the women, of our community day in and day out,” said Don Fesko, Chief Executive Officer of Community Hospital. “HealthGrades’ award for excellence in women’s care serves as an acknowledgment of the teamwork and commitment that goes into providing the very best care to every patient, every visit.”

As part of the study, Community Hospital and virtually every other hospital in the country were evaluated for the following procedures and treatments among women aged 65 and over:
•Women’s Medicine (heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and stroke)
•Women’s Cardiovascular Procedures (coronary bypass surgery, peripheral vascular bypass, coronary interventional procedures, resection/replacement of abdominal aorta, carotid surgery, and valve replacement); and
•Women’s Bone & Joint Health (total knee and total hip replacement surgeries, spinal surgeries, and hip fracture repair).

“There is clearly a wide disparity in the quality of care for women among top-performing and all others,” said Rick May, MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and one of the study’s authors. “The goal of this analysis is to not only put sound data in the hands of prospective patients, but also to identify top-performing hospitals who are setting national benchmarks for the treatment of women to which other hospitals can aspire.”

The HealthGrades study found that 16,863 women could have potentially survived their hospitalization and 4,735 women could have potentially avoided a major in-hospital complication if all hospitals performed at the benchmarks set by Community Hospital and the other award recipients.

The annual HealthGrades study analyzed nearly 7 million hospitalizations using Medicare data from all 50 states from 2006 through 2008. Eligible hospitals must have met volume requirements in stroke and either coronary bypass or valve replacements; met the volume requirements in at least six additional cohorts of the 16 evaluated; and have transferred out less than 10% of stroke patients. Volume requirements are a minimum of 30 female discharges over the three years, with at least five in the most recent year for the cohort.

The complete study and full methodology are available for download at

For more information about the programs and services provided by Community Hospital, visit our website at To find a physician on staff at Community Hospital, call our free referral line at 219-836-3477 or toll-free 866-836-3477.