Questions & Answers
Q: What is Healthgrades?
A: Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Denver, Healthgrades is the national leader in helping consumers make informed choices about America’s health care providers. More than 200 million consumers come to the Healthgrades online network to research and select a new doctor or hospital, and to find trusted health information to help them make more informed decisions for themselves and their families.
Q: What recognitions did Avera McKennan receive?
A: Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center is named the Best in the South Dakota in these key specialties: Gastrointestinal services, GI medical care and general surgery; critical care; and neurosciences and treatment of stroke.
Avera McKennan was named one of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals and received Healthgrades’ Excellence Award™ for both Gastrointestinal Care and General Surgery. Avera McKennan is ranked in the top 5 percent in the nation for overall GI services, GI medical treatment and general surgery.
In addition, Avera McKennan received Five-Star ratings for the following treatments:
- General surgery (gastrointestinal)
- GI medical treatment
- GI procedures and surgeries
- Treatment of GI bleed
- Treatment of bowel obstruction
- Treatment of respiratory failure
- Treatment of stroke
- Treatment of pneumonia
Q: What does it mean to receive a five-star rating?
A: Through a statistical process, a predicted number of deaths or complications for each hospital is determined for a given disease or procedure. This prediction is compared to the actual value for each disease or procedure. A five-star rating means the actual performance was better than predicted and the difference was statistically significant. According to the Healthgrades study, the risk of death is 58 percent lower at hospitals receiving five stars versus all other hospitals. Other key statistics:
- Patients treated in hospitals receiving five stars from Healthgrades have, on average, 75 percent lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals receiving one star, based on risk-adjusted mortality rates (across 18 common procedures and diagnoses, such as coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), stroke, and pneumonia). One-star hospital outcomes are “worse than expected.”
- Patients being treated in hospitals receiving five stars have, on average, 61 percent lower risk of having a complication than if they were treated by hospitals receiving one star (across nine common procedures and diagnoses, such as total knee replacement surgery, gallbladder surgery, and spine surgery).
Q: Where does the data come from?
A: For its 2013 hospital quality outcomes analysis, Healthgrades evaluated approximately 40 million Medicare hospitalization records for services performed from 2009 through 2011 at approximately 4,500 short-term, acute care hospitals nationwide. Healthgrades independently measures hospitals based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. Mortality and complication rates are risk adjusted, which takes into account each hospital’s unique population (demographics and severity of illness). For the first time – the 2013 report provides an overview of trends across the past five study periods, which includes data from years 2005-2011.
Q: Does Avera rightfully achieve these recognitions, or are they a marketing tool?
A: Avera does in fact achieve these awards based upon our quality through an objective process involving Medicare records. No hospital can opt in or out of being measured, and no hospital pays to be measured.
That being said, Avera believes it is important to communicate these distinctions so that residents of our region realize the level of quality care that they receive at Avera. We also believe in making quality data accessible to the public, so individuals can make an informed choice of health care providers.
Q: Does Healthgrades issue awards at other times during the year?
A: Yes! Watch for exciting news to be released in January 2013.