Olympic Medical Center rated No. 1 in patient safety study

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

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PORT ANGELES — Low readmissions and the appropriate use of CT scans helped Olympic Medical Center achieve a No. 1 rating for patient safety among 34 Washington hospitals that Consumer Reports studied, OMC officials said.

OMC earned a safety score of 72 out of 100 in a system based on readmissions — when people must return after having been discharged — complications, communication, overuse of CT scans and infections.

The other hospitals on the North Olympic Peninsula — Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend and Forks Community Hospital — were among 54 hospitals not rated by Consumer Reports because of a lack of data.

“One of the big things was readmissions,” OMC Chief Executive Officer Eric Lewis told commissioners last week.

“Olympic Medical Center has very low readmissions, and that’s a credit to our medical staff and RNs and other employees.”

OMC’s readmission rate for Medicare is about 12 percent, Lewis said.

The state average is 16 percent, and the national average is 19 percent.

“We have very appropriate use of CT scans,” Lewis added, “so that gave us points.”

Rounding out the top five safest hospitals in the state, according to Consumer Reports, were Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee (No. 69), Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton (68), Evergreen Hospital Medical Center in Kirkland (66) and Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center in Vancouver (63).

The highest-scoring hospital in the nation was Bellin Memorial Hospital in Green Bay, Wis., with a score of 74.

Consumer Reports rated 1,159 U.S. hospitals last August and updated its report earlier this year.

Lewis promised that OMC will score higher in future ratings because of the May 4 launch of a new electronic health records system.

“Communication was about having meaningful use of a certified system,” he said.

“Next time they rate us, we will be up and running on a certified system with meaningful use.”

Lewis said OMC is always trying to improve patient safety.

“The good thing about patient safety is, every hospital in Washington state is working together,” he said.

“We work with Swedish [Medical Center], we learn from other hospitals, they learn from us. The whole Washington State Hospital Association has come together to work on improving these scores in Washington state.”

Commissioner Jim Leskinovitch described OMC’s safety’s rating as “fantastic.”

“I was really impressed,” Lewis said.

“I think No. 1 in anything is always good, but patient safety is even better.

“It is something that I think our medical staff and employes can be proud of,” he added.

“It’s not by accident.”

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 21. 2013 6:17PM
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