For the second year in a row, Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola has been ranked among the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals for clinical excellence by HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings organization.
As part of its tenth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study, HealthGrades identified those hospitals performing in the top 5 percent nationwide in 26 different medical procedures and diagnoses.
Based on the results of the national study, HealthGrades recognized Sacred Heart as one of only 263 hospitals nationwide to receive the 2012 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence. The rankings are based on a comprehensive study of patient mortality and complication rates at virtually every hospital in the country. The findings showed that top-rated hospitals had a mortality rate among Medicare patients that was almost 30 percent lower than all other hospitals in the nation.
''Sacred Heart Hospital is among an elite group of hospitals in the United States,'' said Kristin Reed, HealthGrades vice president of hospital ratings and author of the study. "The Pensacola, Fla., community is fortunate to have access to some of the highest quality healthcare in the nation."
HealthGrades also has recognized Sacred Heart's quality in specific categories of care, noting that Sacred Heart ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for bariatric surgery and in the top 10 percent for critical care.
In comparing the performance among hospitals for specific medical conditions and treatments, HealthGrades assigns a rating of 1-star (poor), 3-star (as expected) or 5-star (better than expected.) HealthGrades gave Sacred Heart a 5-star rating in 14 categories that included: treatment of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, gastrointestinal bleeds, peripheral vascular bypass and respiratory failure, as well as neurosurgery and stroke care.
''This award is a milestone in our journey toward excellence in clinical care that began more than eight years ago at Sacred Heart and continues today,'' said Laura S. Kaiser, president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System. ''This achievement is the result of an unwavering focus on the quality of care provided to our sickest patients at the most important times. It truly has been a team effort by many physicians and clinical staff across multiple departments.''
Unlike other hospital quality studies, HealthGrades evaluates hospitals solely on patients' clinical outcomes: rates of deaths and complications in hospitalized patients. HealthGrades' analysis is based on approximately 40 million Medicare patient discharges for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010, the most recent data available.