MERIDIAN HEALTH RATED AMONG STATE'S BEST FOR HOSPITAL QUALITYThe 2008 Hospital Performance Report released today by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services shows that the hospitals of Meridian Health consistently provide among the best clinical care in New Jersey. Meridian's hospitals include Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank.
The state's annual Hospital Performance Report, available online at http://web.doh.state.nj.us/hpr measures all the state's hospitals treatment of heart attack, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and surgical infection prevention - four critical areas that reflect a hospital's overall clinical quality.
"We are proud of our continued strong performance reflected in this report," says John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president of Meridian Health. "We believe our results speak to the collaborative efforts of our physicians, nurses, and team members, who are focused every day on consistently providing excellent care for our patients."
The report also showed Jersey Shore University Medical Center and Riverview Medical Center among the top three hospitals overall in Monmouth County, both also ranking among the top 10% in the state and the best in the county for the treatment of heart attack. Jersey Shore was also rated among the top 10% in the state for the prevention of surgical infection.
Ocean Medical Center was rated the top hospital overall in Ocean County, as well as the best hospital in the county for the treatment of heart attack and congestive heart failure. Ocean Medical Center also ranks among the top 10% in the state for the prevention of surgical infection.
"We continually set our goals higher, and in this report have seen some of our colleagues from around the region have also shown improvement," says Lloyd. "We strongly support this type of information sharing among hospitals, and applaud the state for producing this annual performance report, which helps all New Jersey hospitals benchmark their efforts and continuously improve."
The state has traditionally evaluated the three areas of heart attack, pneumonia and congestive heart failure and for the first time this year, also evaluated data on surgical infection prevention. These categories are also measures reviewed at the federal level by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and are widely recognized as reliable indications of a hospital's overall quality. For example, one of the heart attack indicators measures how consistently a hospital provides aspirin upon discharge, a practice that has been accepted as a proven method of reducing the likelihood of a future heart attack.
"While we are very encouraged by these results and the usefulness of the data, it is important to highlight that no single study or source should be used to judge a hospital's overall quality," says David M. Siegel, M.D., J.D., senior vice president of Clinical Effectiveness and Medical Affairs at Meridian. "We encourage our community to learn all they can about quality and patient safety at area hospitals. State and Federal reports, hospital web sites, and the opinion of a trusted physician, nurse, or clinical expert are also important sources of information that should be used when selecting a hospital for care."
Lloyd notes, "Hospitals that perform well in this report are hospitals that have not only made quality performance an overall priority, but also have dedicated physician champions. At Meridian, we are very grateful to have excellent physicians who embrace evidence-based medicine and quality improvement initiatives, and who are equally dedicated to delivering a consistent high level of care for patients."
Meridian's quality efforts have been recognized both in New Jersey and on the national level. In 2005, Meridian was one of only three health care organizations in the nation to receive the prestigious John M. Eisenberg Award for Patient Safety and Quality, a national award bestowed by the Joint Commission and the National Quality Forum (NQF).
Meridian was the very first health system in the nation to receive the prestigious Magnet Recognition for Nursing Excellence at each of its member hospitals. And, in recent years, Riverview Medical Center and Jersey Shore University Medical Center were the first hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties named "Distinguished Hospitals for Inpatient Service Excellence," by J.D. Power and Associates. And, Jersey Shore University Medical Center was the first hospital in the region to receive the New Jersey Governor's Award for Performance Excellence.
"All the success and recognition we receive is the result of collaboration, with the entire team wanting the best possible results for our patients," says Lloyd. "At Meridian, we believe that quality patient care is a journey, not a destination. For us, it's about supporting a culture of quality improvement that continues to grow; as soon as we reach one goal, we already see another goal on the horizon to work toward."
Meridian Health is a family of not-for-profit health care organizations comprising Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, Ocean Medical Center in Brick, Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and Meridian Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, ambulatory care, ambulance services, and occupational health located throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. Meridian Health has been named one of the best places to work in New Jersey for four consecutive years. For more information, please visit www.meridianhealth.com.