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EKLMC and UMC receive national award for outstanding patient satisfaction

Baton Rouge (January 16, 2009) – Earl K. Long Medical Center (EKLMC) and University Medical Center (UMC) have each received the 2009 Outstanding Patient Experience Award from HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent healthcare ratings organization, for ranking in the top 15 percent nationally for exemplary service to patients.

In fact, both far exceeded the top 15 percent. The percentile ranking for EKLMC was 3.32 and for UMC 3.71, placing both among the top four percent in the nation.

“Patient-centered care is always foremost both in our philosophy and in our daily practice of health care,” said Dr. Kathy Viator, acting EKLMC hospital administrator.  “This day-to-day delivery of quality health care translates into patients who are highly satisfied with their experience at our hospital.”

The ratings are based on patient satisfaction results from The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey that hospital patients provided as part of a new federal initiative to increase public reporting of hospital performance.  The survey includes 27 questions related to physician and nurse communication, responsiveness, hospital cleanliness and noise levels, medication information, and postdischarge care instructions. It is the first national, standardized, publicly reported survey of patients' perspectives of hospital care. HCAHPS is an initiative of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“UMC always strives to put patients first and foremost,” said Larry Dorsey, UMC hospital administrator.  “Compassionate, patient-centered health care is an essential part of the delivery of quality health care.”

To identify the top-performing hospitals, HealthGrades analyzed survey results for the 2,592 hospitals nationwide that participated in the HCAHPS program to determine which hospitals scored highest on the surveys. Hospitals had to meet bed size, survey response size, and clinical-quality thresholds in order to be rated. HealthGrades recognized 271 hospitals within the top 15 percent.  Information on award recipients, the ratings methodology, and HealthGrades is available, free to the public, at http://www.healthgrades.com

“This truly is a distinction generated by patients for patients,” said HealthGrades Executive Vice President Sarah Loughran.

“HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award recognizes those hospitals that deliver a level of service most highly rated by patients.”

HealthGrades is providing this award to help consumers choose the best hospital for themselves and their loved ones. Patients want to know about hospitals’ patient experience track records. A recent McKinsey study found that 41% of commercially insured patients consider patient experience measures to be an important factor in choosing a hospital. 

In a survey of 868 HealthGrades.com visitors, 84% said that if a hospital received a HealthGrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award it would increase their interest in choosing that hospital.

Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGRD - News) is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources.

The HealthGrades network of websites, including HealthGrades.com and WrongDiagnosis.com, is a top-ten health property, according to ComScore, and is the internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers.

Earl K. Long Medical Center
ekl medical center

Patient Satisfaction

University Medical Center
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