"Three Tacoma Area Hospitals Ranked in the Top 100 Nationwide, One for Sixth Year in Row"

“Three of the nation’s Top 100 hospitals are in the Tacoma area, according to a new ranking.For the sixth consecutive year, St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma has been designated on of the top 100 hospitals in the nation for delivery of high-quality, cost-effective medical care. St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood and St. Francis Hospital in Federal Way, all part of Franciscan Health System, were also designated Top 100 Hospitals.Only one hospital in the country has a better record in reaching the top 100 list than St. Joseph.The annual designation comes from HCIA, an independent research and consulting firm that conducts an annual study to identify standards of quality among American hospitals, and The Health Network, a consumer health resource on television and the Internet.The Top 100 Hospitals are identified in the annual study to identify standards of excellence among hospitals nationwide. The study is based on qualitative data that are consistent and complete across the U.S., which helps to ensure the focus is on statistical rather than anecdotal evidence of performance. The three were compared with their peers – hospitals of equal size in the category of non-teaching hospitals.The ranking is based on eight distinct measures of clinical quality practices, operations and financial management – all selected to represent high customer value through their use of resources, care, and outcomes. Recognition of the three was published in Modern Healthcare magazine.Between July 1998 and June 1999, Franciscan Health System had 24,600 admissions, delivered 4,860 babies, provided care for nearly 100,000 people in emergency rooms and treated 11,600 people as short stay patientsSt. Joseph has redesigned some of the ways care is delivered, including the creation of an Ambulatory Care Center, and several outpatient programs.Another recognized area of innovation at all three facilities is the creation of clinical effectiveness teams – cross disciplinary panels of physicians, clinicians and hospital managers who identify “best practice” standards for patient care and enlist participation of practitioners in reaching clinical effectiveness goals.One example of work taking place utilizing the teams is an ongoing initiative to improve care and treatment of stroke victims at each of the three hospitals. A multidisciplinary team reviewed care of stroke patients and determined areas for improvement based on American Heart Association treatment guidelines. This has resulted in improvements in blood pressure management and use of medications for blood thinning and clot busting. Other improvements include referral practices on certain types of rehab therapy, and community outreach efforts on stroke prevention and treatment options.The hospitals have formed partnerships with physicians in crucial areas, such as cardiac services. The Franciscan Heart Center, which draws on the expertise of cardiologists, heart surgeons, electrophysiologists, nurses and clinical staff at all three hospitals, is an outgrowth of the approach.Only four hospitals in Washington were chose for the top 100 list. Three are located in the Tacoma area, and all are a part of Franciscan Health System. One other is located in the Vancouver area.Franciscan Health System is a part of Catholic Health Initiatives, one of the largest not-for-profit health care systems in the country.HCIA collects, manages and distributes comparative health care information. The Health Network is available in over 17.5 million homes via cable and satellite, and worldwide on the Web. The Health Network is operated by FOX Networks and is part of the FOX Entertainment Group.”