Health Notes: St. Luke’s in top 100 of national hospital rankingSt. Luke’s hospital in Duluth is one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals, according to a list released this week by a Denver-based health-rating service.
By: Compiled by John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
St. Luke’s hospital in Duluth is one of the nation’s top 100 hospitals, according to a list released this week by a Denver-based health-rating service.
America’s 100 best hospitals had “risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates low enough to place them in the top 5 percent of all hospitals,” according to a news release from HealthGrades, which describes itself as a “provider of comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.”
Dr. Gary Peterson, chief medical officer for St. Luke’s, said the ranking was a validation of the hard work done by those on the hospital’s staff.
“We’re very proud of this,” Peterson said. “We’re very happy to be included in America’s 100 best hospitals.”
Peterson noted that the ranking is based on three years’ worth of data. “It isn’t just a flash in the pan,” he said.
HealthGrades has been reporting on the quality of hospitals since 1998. It derives its ratings from data about Medicare patients.
From 2008 through 2010, the top 100 hospitals collectively had nearly 30 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality across 17 procedures and diagnoses compared with hospitals overall, the news release said. If all hospitals performed at that level, 179,593 deaths of Medicare patients would have been prevented during those three years, it said.
Some of the most familiar names among America’s hospitals aren’t on the list. There’s no Mayo Clinic or Hennepin County Medical Center from Minnesota, although the Mayo Clinic hospital in Phoenix does make the list. Seven Baltimore-area hospitals are included, but the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Hospital isn’t one of them.
The HealthGrades rating system is driven strictly by numbers, spokeswoman Marsha Austin said in an e-mail.
“Other hospital ratings systems utilize in their methodologies financial performance, reputation, etc.,” Austin wrote. “So what you see is what you get with our ratings — no matter the brand recognition or name association/reputation, we are comparing hospitals based on one question: Did the patient experience any unexpected complications or a preventable death.”
St. Luke’s was listed in HealthGrades’ top 100 hospitals, but not its top 50. The only Minnesota hospital to make the top 50 was North Memorial in Robbinsdale. The only other Minnesota hospital in the next 50 was Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina. Wisconsin hospitals in the top 100 were Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee and West Allis Memorial Hospital.
For more information and the complete list, see www.healthgrades.com.