UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital and Highland Hospital received high marks in a new ratings system rolled out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Based on data from patient surveys, the Hospital Compare Star Ratings aim to help consumers choose a hospital by providing a snapshot of the care they deliver. Strong and Highland received the highest overall ratings in the region with four out of five stars.
“The star ratings are helpful because they provide information in an easy-to-understand format that people are used to seeing for other services,” said Kathleen Parrinello, R.N., Ph.D., chief operating officer at UR Medicine’s Strong Memorial Hospital. “These ratings reflect the hard work of all our employees – from physicians and nurses, to nutritionists and parking attendants – to provide exceptional care for each and every patient that walks through our doors.”
The star ratings are based on data from surveys that measure patients’ perspectives of hospital care, including how well nurses and doctors communicate with patients, how clean and quiet hospital rooms are and if patients feel prepared for their recovery at home. The current ratings include survey responses from patients discharged between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014.
According to a Kaiser Health News analysis of the survey data, 153 hospitals were rated in New York State and the average number of stars was 2.5. Just 12 percent of hospitals in the state received a 4 star rating, which is considered above average, and only 1 percent received a five star rating, which is considered excellent.
“Over the past several years we’ve made changes in our culture, our processes and our physical space to create a more comfortable, compassionate and healing environment,” said Jacqueline Beckerman, senior director, Patient Experience and Strong Commitment at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “Patients are seeing a difference from our efforts. We used to receive letters singing the praises of one nurse or one social worker. Now, we get letters saying that every person a patient encountered at the hospital was helpful and caring. There is more work to be done, but we’re headed in the right direction.”
When asked if “they would definitely recommend the hospital”, 80 percent of survey respondents said yes, they “would definitely recommend” Strong and Highland, compared to the national average of 71 percent and the New York state average of 66 percent.
Consumers can visit the Hospital Compare web site at www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare to get star ratings for local hospitals and responses to all survey questions.