Cape Gazette
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Consumer Reports:  Beebe Medical Center best surgery safety rating in state

Aug 19, 2013

Beebe Medical Center is the safest hospital in Delaware to have a surgery, according to Consumer Reports magazine.

In the September 2013 Issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 2,463 U.S. acute-care or critical-access hospitals are rated according to how well Medicare patients 65 years of age and older fared following surgery between 2009 and 2011. The ratings consider how well hospitals avoided adverse events that led either to patients staying longer in the hospital for a procedure than expected, or to patients dying. Medicare claims data from 27 categories of common surgeries was analyzed.

Consumer Reports gave five ratings signified by a range of clear and colored circles: highest; above average; average; below average and worst. Beebe Medical Center received the only above-average rating in Delaware. Details can be found at www.ConsumerReports.org/hospitalratings, where the question is asked, “How Safe is Your Hospital?” A subscription is necessary to view the full report.

“We are extremely pleased to learn of this patient safety rating,” says Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, Beebe president and CEO. “Consumer Reports did not alert us that it was reviewing Medicare data, nor were we sent copies of the findings. This report reflects an unbridled commitment of Beebe Medical Center’s employees, physicians, leadership and board members to bringing the highest quality of care to our patients. It also reflects the many grassroots efforts by our clinical staff to research and implement the latest in evidence-based medical practices that lead to the continual improvement of patient care.”

In early 2008, Beebe Medical Center, through the efforts of its Board of Directors Quality and Safety Committee, and under the leadership of Michele Thomas, MD, FACS, chief of the Department of Surgery at the time, enrolled in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program to measure and improve the quality of surgical care. Beebe Medical Center used findings from the project to identify opportunities for improvement.

At the same time, Beebe Medical Center also initiated and continues to participate in the Surgical Care Improvements Project, a national quality improvement program aimed at significantly reducing surgical complications. Beebe Medical Center also incorporated the World Health Organization’s surgical safety checklist procedure into Beebe’s Timeout protocol. This is a pre-procedural pause in which all members of the surgical team take a few minutes together to go over a safety checklist, which includes the confirmation of the correct patient and the correct procedure, in order to assure a safe surgery.

This focus on surgical safety has led Beebe Medical Center to establish and follow safety protocols throughout the surgical patient’s care, from preadmission screening of the patient’s health to surgery preparation, to caring for the patient during and after surgery. Patient education also is important at Beebe Medical Center, both before and after surgery.

Of utmost importance are the infection prevention protocols that are followed by physicians and staff members throughout the hospital.

Beebe Medical Center has an extensive surgical program in which operations are performed both in the traditional open method and in the minimally invasive methods, including laparoscopy and endoscopy. Beebe Medical Center has received quality ratings for orthopaedic, cardiac and vascular surgeries. It offers some of the latest cancer surgeries, such as those for pancreatic cancer, as well as routine surgeries, such as for the removal of gall bladders and the repair of hernias. Last year, more than 13,000 surgeries were performed in Beebe Medical Center’s 12 operating rooms by highly skilled and specialized surgical teams.

Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness and restore optimal health for the people residing, working or visiting in the communities it serves. It offers multiple services throughout southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing lab, imaging, physical rehab services and walk-in care.  For more information, go to www.beebemed.org.

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