Christ Medical Center ranked in the nation’s top 100 hospitals
By Susan DeMar Lafferty firstname.lastname@example.org June 5, 2012 7:52PM
Colleen Perez, MS, RN is the Director of Quality and Regulatory Compliance at Advocate Christ Medical Center. | Larry Ruehl~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 7, 2012 8:01AM
Forget about downtown Chicago, there’s world class health care right here in the Southland.
A recent poll ranked Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country. It’s one of four Illinois hospitals and one of 15 major teaching hospitals to make the list.
“We are not aiming for an award but for top-quality care,” Dr. William Adair, a hospital executive, said. “Being in the top 15 is very significant.”
Christ Medical Center just landed on the Thomson Reuters 2012 list of 100 Top Hospitals in the country. And, for the fifth year in a row, the medical center also earned the Midas Plus Platinum Award, which measured 654 hospitals, comparing Christ Medical Center to 85 others with an average daily patient population of more than 200.
Thomson Reuters, an industry leader in health care data, evaluated research and independent public data from nearly 3,000, acute-care, non-federal hospitals — including 190 major teaching hospitals.
While Midas measured health outcomes, Thomson Reuters balanced finances with quality of care, Adair said.
“We are providing better care with diminishing resources,” he said.
In compiling its annual list of the top 100, Thomson Reuters measured mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average patient stay, expenses, profitability, patient readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.
Colleen Perez, a Christ administrator, said the hospital takes a team approach dealing with patients’ needs and monitors their efforts daily. They are accountable for every day-to-day detail, such as reducing surgical complications, responding to a patient’s call light and delivering medications on time, she said.
Over the past few years, the staff has adopted several initiatives to improve patient care over the long term that involves people, technology, facilities and the community.
With grant funding, it purchased 12-lead EKG monitors for all ambulances in the Oak Lawn/Burbank area and provided paramedic training. With the latest technology, hospital staff can monitor patients being transported, communicate with paramedics and be ready to address patients’ needs when they arrive at the hospital.
Adair also said they have cardiologists on call 24/7 to attend promptly to patients. About 30 percent of their patients have heart-related concerns.
The national standard for treating a heart patient from the time one reaches the door until treatment is administered is 90 minutes, Perez said. The Christ medical staff has reduced that to 50 or 60 minutes, she said.
Mortality rates have steadily declined as have complications, they said. Fewer complications results in shorter stays and less expense.
A key to reducing readmission rates has been a new partnership with skilled-nursing facilities to ensure a continued plan of care once patients leave the hospital.
Nurses also make home visits to make sure patients understand their discharge instructions and medications.
“We are trying to craft lifelong relationships,” Adair said. “We want to address every patient’s every need. It’s a lofty goal, but we aim to do it right.”
According to Thomson Reuters, if all hospitals performed at the same level as the 100 Top Hospitals award winners, more than 186,000 additional lives could be saved, 56,000 additional patients could be complication-free, more than $4.3 billion could be saved and the average patient stay would decrease by nearly half a day.
Adair said coming to a Top 100 hospital means less mortality, fewer complications and improved safety for patients.
In addition to the Thomson Reuters recognition and the Midas award, Christ Medical Center was rated in 2011 by U.S. News and World Report as a high-performing, Chicago-area hospital in 11 different specialties, including cardiology and heart surgery, cancer treatment, orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery and gynecology.
It was recently presented with a Gold Quality Achievement Award by the American Heart Association for the quality of treatment to its heart patients.
“Every one gets better every year. We need to get better than everyone else,” Adair said. “We cannot let up.”