Date: 8/17/2009

Community Healthcare System Recognized Nationally as a Leader in Quality Care

Community Healthcare System has been recognized in a new study on hospital quality and efficiency as one of the nation’s top performing health systems. It is the only healthcare system in Northwest Indiana ranked in the top 50 by this study that highlights the potential for health systems to impact the quality of healthcare.

The study looked at the quality provided by a health system as a single organization, regardless of ownerships, religious affiliation, location, size or purpose. For Community Healthcare System the hospitals involved in this quality analysis include: Community Hospital in Munster; St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago; and St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart.

The study by Thomson Reuters, which was published this month by Modern Healthcare magazine, was a first look at how this nation’s healthcare systems are performing. It found significant differences between high and low-performing systems in terms of patient survival, complication, patient safety and how quickly patients may return to daily life.

“This recognition, as one of the nation’s top performing hospitals for high quality healthcare, is a validation of the work of our staff and physicians to hardwire excellence throughout the hospitals of the Community Healthcare System,” said John Gorski, Chief Operating Officer of Community Healthcare System.

“From the day these three hospitals came together as one healthcare system, we have been working to share best practices and focus on performance improvement at every level in the organization,” Gorski said. “By creating this healthcare system we wanted to improve healthcare in Northwest Indiana and offer real value to our patients.”

Community Healthcare System has performed in the top 20 percent of healthcare systems nationwide for five measures of performance: mortality, complications, patient safety, lengthy of stay and use of evidence-based practices. Top performing healthcare systems were found to have: 25 percent fewer mortalities; 19 percent fewer complications; 13 percent fewer patient safety incidents; better core measures compliance; and 16 percent shorter length of stay. The study also found that healthcare systems performing in the top 20 percent treated sicker patients, noted 4 percent lower expense per patient discharge, and achieved a higher level of operational integration.

Health systems were ranked on the basis of their performance on each of the five quality and efficiency measures. All healthcare systems in the country that had at least two or more acute care hospitals with a minimum of 25 beds were evaluated for this study on measures of patient outcomes, process of care, and efficiency of care delivery.

The Thomson Reuter’s 100 Top Hospitals: Health Systems Quality/Efficiency Study used two primary sources of data from 2006 and 2007 to determine the top performing healthcare systems: the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data set and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data set.