In a recent study by Consumer Reports, OSF Saint James – John W. Albrecht Medical Center was the highest rated hospital for patient safety in the state of Illinois. Consumer Reports considered how hospitals throughout the nation performed, including information from both surgical and nonsurgical patients, as well as ratings on other measures, such as readmissions, bloodstream infections and communication about drugs.
Brad Solberg, President of OSF Saint James, said, “Patient safety is not a program. It has to be part of everything we do -- all of us, all the time. Our staff does very well to keep that patient focus and it shows. Congratulations to them for maintaining that commitment to every one of our patients.”
The Consumer Reports “Safety Score” is a composite of five categories that relate to hospital safety: avoiding infections, avoiding readmissions, communicating about medications and discharge, appropriate use of chest and abdominal scanning, and avoiding medical and surgical mortality.
These categories are tied closely to patient safety in the following ways:
- Unnecessary readmissions are tied to patient safety in several important ways. First, any hospital admission has inherent risks, so a second admission exposes the patient to additional risk. Second, readmissions can be caused by something that went wrong during the initial discharge. Finally, readmissions can reflect errors in the initial admission.
- Communication about new medication is included because lack of communication about drugs can lead to their misuse and other errors. And lack of communication about discharge instructions can lead to errors in post-discharge care.
- Appropriate use of scanning is included because double scans of the chest and abdomen are rarely necessary and unnecessarily expose patients to additional radiation.
- Hospital-acquired infections impact about one of every 25 hospitalized patients in the U.S., sometimes fatally. The most common are pneumonia and surgical site infections.
- The Consumer Reports Safety Score contains two measures of mortality, which can result from preventable medical errors: mortality in patients with heart failure, heart attack, stroke, pneumonia or COPD; and mortality in surgery patients.
The component measures represent data collected in different time periods. In each case, Consumer Reports used the most current valid data available.