Contact:Donna Sellmann


The 2008 Hospital Performance Report released by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services shows that Ocean Medical Center once again ranks as the top rated hospital for quality in Ocean County, and among the best in the state of New Jersey.

Ocean Medical Center was rated as the top hospital in the county for the treatment of heart attack, congestive heart failure, and surgical care improvement. It also places among the top 10% of hospitals in the state for surgical care improvement.

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 have an outstanding team at Ocean Medical Center, and the report's findings represent the level of excellence provided by our caregivers and support staff. Additionally, it acknowledges the efforts of our volunteer Medical Staff," says W. Peter Daniels, FACHE, president of Ocean Medical Center. "We are very grateful to the physicians serving at Ocean Medical Center and throughout Meridian Health who share our commitment to quality and the utilization of evidence-based best practices. Their valuable contributions are clearly reflected in this report."

Ocean is joined by the other hospitals in Meridian Health, including Jersey Shore University Medical Center and K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital in Neptune, and Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, in being recognized in the report for consistently providing the best clinical care in New Jersey.

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.

"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 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). Additionally, 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.

"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.