Anderson Regional Medical Center Receives National Awards for Patient Safety, Patient Experience

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Meridian, Miss.—Anderson Regional Medical Center has been ranked as one of the top hospitals in the nation in two important areas and is being recognized for its achievements by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

The hospital ranked in the top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals for patient safety and in the top 10 percent of U.S. hospitals in patient experience. Of the almost 5,000 hospitals surveyed, Anderson Regional Medical Center is among only 30 institutions nationwide to receive awards in both of these categories, at 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

In a study released by HealthGrades, Anderson Regional Medical Center was one of only 238 hospitals in the nation to receive the HealthGrades 2010 Patient Safety Excellence Award. The award is given based on the incidence rates of 15 patient safety indicators among Medicare patients at virtually all of the nation’s nearly 5,000 non-federal hospitals.

 The HealthGrades 2010-2011 Outstanding Patient Experience Award was given on the basis of surveys of patients shortly after discharge to ascertain their experience on a range of issues, from communication with doctors and nurses to cleanliness and pain management.

 Anderson Regional Medical Center was the only recipient of both the Patient Safety Excellence and Outstanding Patient Experience awards in Meridian.

 Ray Humphreys, President/CEO, Anderson Regional Medical Center, said both of these achievements are the result of the dedication and focus of the entire hospital staff.

 “The patient safety award comes from an exhaustive analysis of hospital records, and the patient experience award reflects the real-life experiences of our patients,” Humphreys said. “Both awards are based on a solid and consistent focus on our patients, plus the services we provide for them. I am enormously proud of our staff and the important role our hospital plays in providing for the medical needs of the people of our region.”

 HealthGrades Commends Anderson

Rick May, MD, a HealthGrades vice president, commended Anderson Regional Medical Center for both achievements. Concerning patient safety, Dr. May said, “Hospitals like Anderson Regional Medical Center are setting benchmarks of superior performance that we would like to see other hospitals emulate.”

 On patient experience, Dr. May said, “There are a select group of hospitals that have made a top-to-bottom commitment to providing their patients with an outstanding patient experience as part of their overall commitment to quality. Members of the community should take pride in knowing that, should they need it, there’s a hospital in their area that puts patients first.”

 Anderson Regional Medical Center is the largest medical facility in East Mississippi/West Alabama and was founded in 1928. Anderson established the area’s first cardiovascular surgery program surgery program in 1986, has the only regional Cancer Center in the area and features a Level III Trauma Emergency Room.

 HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award

 The seventh annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study analyzed nearly 40 million hospitalization records from approximately 5,000 hospitals nationwide that participate in the Medicare program. Participation in the HealthGrades study is not voluntary, and hospitals cannot choose to opt out of the analysis.

 If all hospitals performed at the level of the Patient Safety Excellence Award hospitals like Anderson Regional Medical Center, approximately 218,572 patient safety events and 22,590 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2.1 billion in excess costs from 2006 through 2008.

 The annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study applies methodology developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify safety indicators among Medicare patients.

 Additionally, HealthGrades applies its methodology using 12 patient safety indicators to identify the best-performing hospitals, or Patient Safety Excellence Award Hospitals, which represent the top 5 percent of all U.S. hospitals. HealthGrades developed this award to give patients more information about choosing a hospital.

 In the HealthGrades analysis, the following are the patient safety indicators studied:

  • Complications of anesthesia
  • Death in low mortality Diagnostic Related Groupings (DRGs)
  • Decubitis ulcer (bed sores)
  • Death among surgical inpatients with serious treatable complications
  • Iatrogencic pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Selected infections due to medical care
  • Post-operative hip fracture
  • Post-operative hemorrhage or hematoma
  • Post-operative physiologic and metabolic derangements
  • Post-operative respiratory failure
  • Post-operative pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis
  • Post-operative sepsis
  • Post-operative abdominal wound dehiscence
  • Accidental puncture or laceration
  • Transfusion reaction

 HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award

The patient experience surveys are standardized and issued to patients within 48 hours of leaving the hospital as part of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) initiative from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 This analysis by HealthGrades utilized HCAHPS surveys collected between July 2008 and June 2009 and found that patients at hospitals ranked in the top 15 percent were 50 percent more likely to recommend the hospital to family and friends, compared with hospitals ranked in the bottom 15 percent. The same percentage — 50 percent — were more likely to rate the overall experience as a 99 or 10, on a scale of 1 to 10, than patients at hospitals ranked in the bottom 15 percent.

 Additionally, a higher percentage of patients and hospitals ranked in the top 15 percent said their rooms were always kept quiet, they always received help from the staff quickly and staff always explained their medications to them prior to administering them.

 The HCAHPS survey questions assessed patients’ experience in the following 10 categories:

  1. Overall rating: How do patients rate the hospital overall?
  2. Recommendation to family/friends: Would patients recommend the hospital to friends and family?
  3. Communication with doctors: How often did doctors communicate well with patients?
  4. Communication with nurses: How often did nurses communicate well with patients?
  5. Responsiveness of hospital staff: How often did patients receive help quickly from hospital staff?
  6. Pain management: How often was patient’s pain well controlled?
  7. Communication about medicines: How often did staff explain medicines before giving them to patients?
  8. Discharge information: Were patients given information about what to do during their recovery at home? (This question was the only yes/no measure.)
  9. Cleanliness: How often were the patients’ rooms and bathrooms kept clean?

10.  Quietness: How often was the area around patients’ rooms kept quiet at night?


 Editor’s Note: A full copy of the report, which lists the hospitals receiving the HealthGrades awards and complete methodology, is available at by contacting  Brian Vicanti (303) 390-2507 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it