Friday, January 11, 2013

Quality of Care 

I spent most of my working years in teaching hospitals, which were generally considered to offer the best care available.  Early on, however, I began to suspect that it was not always necessarily so and that when the day came that quality could be measured, there would be some surprises.  More specifically, I came to believe that teaching hospitals offered the best care to patients with rare and complicated conditions that interested the faculty, but that for the run-of-the-mill cases that constituted the vast majority it was not necessarily so.

Information is now coming in that confirms my suspicion. 

The January 7 issue of the Omaha World Herald reported that Omaha-based, six-hospital Alegent Creighton Health System had become “the first health care system anywhere to earn full accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care in heart failure treatment, chest pain center services and atrial fibrillation treatment.” 

According to the report, some 800 U.S. hospitals have been accredited in at least one of the three categories of cardiovascular care but in no other case had all of the hospitals in a multi-hospital system been accredited in all of them. 

So it seems that if you have chest pain and go to the emergency room of Midlands Hospital in Papillion, Nebraska, one of the Alegent Creighton hospitals, you may well get care that is as good as you would have received at Mayo or Johns Hopkins.

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