Saturday, February 12, 2011

Health Grades Rankings of 50 Top Hospitals Based on Mortality, Doctors, Nursing Homes Improving Schools Remarkable Success Need to Know

Tags: Ranking Hospitals Medicare Patients Pulmonary Pneumonia Kills Less Real Food Improved Schools Brain

The U.S. News Report rankings are known to most of you. I have not analyzed the report below for accuracy and methods used. Make sure you do not look at apples and oranges when deciding which hospital to go to. Some hospitals take the worst patients because they are the best so mortality data alone is not sufficient, but an important criteria. I do not know if the survey looked into the type of patients treated or not.

Be careful whom you ask about who is the best doctor. Most people unfortunately pick best doctors based on their personalities. If you can ask nurses at the hospital where specialties are involved. Best hospital should also include what they are best at doing. Infection rates are very important to determine. Practice makes perfect so the more operations the surgeon does each year, the more likely he is highly skilled.

Get second and third opinions because too many surgeons operate when unnecessary. That is the purpose of having a Board Certified family doctor or Internist. Do all this before you get sick. Being a great doctor takes practice and continued learning. If it takes half of the doctors 17 years to implement best practices such as done at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where physicians work as a team so requires doctors who are team players. Hard to find this among surgeons as many have experienced.

This survey looks quite good. I was especially impressed with a common cause of death of patients in hospitals being treated for other maladies are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (41.08%) and pneumonia (40.17%), especially among the aged.

If you can afford it, sometimes it is worthwhile traveling to the best hospital within your travel perimeter. Primarily due to obesity, diabetes and/or possibly medications, those under 50 make up 51 percent of stroke victims now. Just recently a study indicates that about half of new drugs that are now being considered can block the electrical signals to the heart causing Atrial Fibrillation and death.

As I often recommend, eat real food, not processed foods with additives galore , and exercise. Professor Michael Pollan, UC Berkeley, describes in his book Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, that humans ate considerably different diets and were able to survive long enough to have descendants from 150,000 years ago to modern times. Humans ate what was available, and not the stupid 6 fruits and vegetables daily often recommended by the experts now. From 1960 to 2010, obesity of Americans has tripled.

Since 1985, when Reagan made subsidized corn so cheap, obesity doubled in the 1990s, because corn derived High Fructose Corn Syrup could be used in any amount to make the processed foods palatable including soft drinks. Regular cane sugar crystallizes out when too much is used or food is frozen. Biochemically altered Genetically Modified Beet sugar was banned until recently our dear corporate Supreme Court declared it safe without testing.

Now about 5 percent of weeds are resistant to Round Up, something predicted long ago.

Not many realize that when the research was done to “determine” that saturated fats caused an increase in cholesterol, the study ignored the High Fructose Corn Syrup in the foods as a possible cause of heart disease and weight gain. Unfortunately the research did not leave any records of what he did. Yes, fructose metabolizes in our liver to eventually make very low density lipoproteins cholesterol which is likely responsible for heart disease and Alzheimer’s according to one recent study.

I will soon write about how the microbes in our intestinal track protect or cause illness and weight gain. I have mentioned this in the past, but I can now give you more definitive research.

Last night on Need to Know with Meacham on PBS, Friday 10 PM, Feb 11, 2011, on improving schools, I was shocked to learn that the worst High School in Brockton, Massachusetts, with the poorest 4,000 students did poorly on tests because they did not know how to read and write well so they now require teaching literacy in every class including math and science classes. The teachers would work hard in teams to keep improving on what they are doing. Now 95% are going to college for the first time in their family!

Yes, they are teaching to the Test! All this was done by only firing only two teachers for ineffectiveness and one for insubordination. Yes, they had a Teacher’s Union. Massachusetts introduced an MCAT test for math and English to graduate from high school! About 95% of Brockton seniors would have failed. Now almost all pass this test and many more take Advanced Placement Courses.

Too bad Facebook, Twitter, cells phones and video games are still with us. Some spend 13 hours a day texting!

The decision was made to emphasize learning instead of trying to make the students better persons. Success breeds success as Chua, Tiger Mom, said.

An upscale school in Naperville, Illinois had enough extra funds from the families to build extensive exercise facilities so they exercise until their heart rate goes up to 145, then they go immediately to class. They are more alert and don’t fall asleep in the class. A Harvard researcher said that he has found the our neurons and synapses grow faster after exercises and increases alertness. Apparently it is improving the already top-ranked school.

Contrary to what was believed until fairly recently, using our brain increases our neurons and synaptic connections. This is especially important for babies from birth to 3 years of age. Since almost all mothers work, this means we have to develop trained professionals for child care when the mothers are at work and heavily subsidized with our tax dollars.

Jim Kawakami, Feb 12, 2011,

From Medscape Medical News

Top Hospitals Across United States Ranked Based on Patient Mortality

Emma Hitt, PhD

Authors and Disclosures


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Important Safety Information Prescribing Information January 26, 2011 — (Website for Hospital Rankings Based on Patient Mortality.)

Welcome to HealthGrades

The leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

Reports and ratings to guide you to better care providers.

  • 750,000 physicians
  • 5,000 hospitals
  • 16,000 nursing homes

A first-ever ranking of the nation's top 50 hospitals based on a comprehensive study of patient death and complication rates at nearly 5000 hospitals has been released this week.

The study was conducted by HealthGrades as part of the ninth annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study. The analysis was based on approximately 40 million Medicare patient discharges for the years 2007, 2008, and 2009.

The study, led by Kristin Reed, MPH, Carol Nicholas, MSTC, and Rick May, MD, with the healthcare assessment organization HealthGrades, found that West Palm Beach, Florida, ranked first in the nation, with 9 of 12 hospitals in the region designated top performers. Others in the top 5 markets for hospital care quality were Brownsville, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; and Tucson, Arizona.

Of 4873 short-term, nonfederal, nonchildren's, acute care hospitals included in the analysis, 268 hospitals performing in the top 5% nationwide were identified. A total of 26 different medical procedures and diagnoses were included. "These hospitals as a group have the lowest risk-adjusted mortality and fewest in-hospital complications out of the approximately 5,000 hospitals studied," the authors note in the report.

Hospitals deemed to be in the "distinguished" category had a 29.82% lower risk-adjusted in-hospital mortality rate and a 1.91% lower risk-adjusted in-hospital complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries compared with all other hospitals. The diseases for which the reduction in mortality was greatest at the distinguished hospitals were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (41.08%) and pneumonia (40.17%).

Thirty-six states had 1 or more distinguished hospitals, with Delaware having the highest percentage (75%) of eligible hospitals, followed by Minnesota (55.56%), Arizona (51.87%), Maryland (36.67%), and Connecticut (35%).

The analysis also ranked cities by highest percentage of distinguished hospitals. The top 10 cities for hospital quality were located in Florida, Texas, Ohio, Minnesota, Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The researchers estimate that if all hospitals performed similarly, 158,684 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved and 3511 Medicare in-hospital complications could be avoided.

The report, which also described the findings of an online survey of 15,000 respondents, indicated that nearly 94% of consumers say they would go out of their way to seek care at a highly rated hospital. Nearly two thirds (64.9%) stated that they would be willing to pay more out of pocket to seek care at a top-rated hospital. In addition, 83.4% of consumers said they are very or somewhat concerned about hospital quality in their community.

"No longer is today's health care consumer simply looking for the least expensive option when it comes to medical care," said Rick May, MD, HealthGrades vice president of clinical quality services and study coauthor, in a written release. "They expect high quality and are willing to go out of their way to get it."

The study was supported for by HealthGrades and conducted by its employees.

The survey is available on the HealthGrades Web site.

1 comment:

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