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CHRISTUS SPOHN:Grade ‘F’ is inaccurate
by Jason Collins
Dec 07, 2012 | 2383 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE — Christus Spohn Hospital staff say that a recent independent group’s report doesn’t accurately reflect the quality of care offered at the hospital.

In a news release, which is spreading via social media, Leapfrog gives Christus Spohn Hospital Beeville an ‘F.’

Who is Leapfrog?

In their own words: “The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing employer purchasing power to alert America’s health industry that big leaps in health care safety, quality and customer value will be recognized and rewarded. Among other initiatives, Leapfrog works with its employer members to encourage transparency and easy access to health care information as well as rewards for hospitals that have a proven record of high quality care.”

In their report, they cite such deficiencies as occurrences of pressure ulcers, wounds splitting open after surgery and not having intensive care physicians on staff as just some of the reasons for this poor rating.

Officials at Spohn say this is unfair because the data are old, not complete in some instances and unfair to small hospitals such as this one.

Leapfrog officials say they are releasing these results to help people make more informed choices.

“The Leapfrog Group board has been frustrated with the lack of progress in improving patient safety, despite significant industry efforts over the past decade,” said David Knowlton, immediate past chair of The Leapfrog Group board of directors and chair of The Leapfrog Group’s Patient Safety Committee.

“It is time for a game changer. It’s time to give American families the heads-up they need to protect themselves if they face the need for a hospital stay.”

The Beeville hospital was listed as number 19 in an alphabetical by state 25 failing hospitals list.

That grade comes in direct contrast to a the results of the Joint Commission.

The Joint Commission has accredited hospitals for more than 60 years and today it accredits approximately 4,168 general, children’s, long-term acute, psychiatric, rehabilitation and specialty hospitals, and 378 critical access hospitals, through a separate accreditation program.

Raymond Ramos, chief operating officer at Christus Spohn Beeville, highlighted that in April he received word that the hospital was once again accredited by the Joint Commission.

That accreditation, and the hospital’s 93 percent score, means more than the report released by Leapfrog.

“It is disheartening when you know it’s not an accurate reflection,” said Kathy Carson, executive director of quality and regulation for the Christus Spohn Healthcare System.

Carson added that the data used by Leapfrog were missing key elements. That’s primarily because Leapfrog relies on voluntarily participation and publicly available data.

Ramos said that he wasn’t even aware of Leapfrog until this report was released.

“Our focus is the CMS and the Joint Commission. They are the gold standard.”

Katy Kiser, communication manager for the Christus Spohn system, echoed his thoughts, saying, “According to data from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wounds splitting open after surgery, also known as dehiscence of a wound, has not been an issue for the facility. Our data reported by CMS... states no significant difference from the national average for blood or vein clots and wound dehiscence.

“It should be noted that Christus Spohn Beeville scored a 93.1 percent during a recent report posted on the Joint Commission website.

“The Joint Commission is considered the most respected and established accreditation organization.

“It certifies more than 19,000 health care programs in the United States.

“It has become a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. In April, we received a full accreditation by the Joint Commission.”

Kiser and Carson both said that the Leapfrog report is looking at Christus Spohn not as it is now, but how it was three years ago.

“You are not looking at Christus Spohn Hospital today,” Kiser said. “You are looking at what appears to be outdated numbers.”

Ramos said that during the past three years, employees there have implemented numerous new safety measures and made changes that are reflected in their current safety rate — at which the Joint Commission looked. He also added that when the commission members offered their certification, they did so after personally visiting the hospital and not just relying upon reports.

Every morning, he said, nurses and staff meet to discuss problems that occurred in the past 24 hours. Training is held for all employees. All patients are checked on at a minimum of once an hour.

Ramos said that he tries to meet with new patients to ensure they are receiving the care they need.

“I will go around and visit with them,” he said.

Carson said, “This is truly a patient-centered care approach.

“We are asking the patients and their families how we are doing and what we can do better.”

Ramos added that he knows the hospital isn’t perfect but that remains their goal.

“We have to continually strive to improve patient care and safety,” he said. “Patients put their lives in our hands.”

Kiser added, “We are not an ‘F’ hospital. You can talk to anybody. Even the most disgruntled (person) will tell you we are not an ‘F’ hospital.

“Even the Joint Commission agrees we are not an ‘F’ hospital.”

Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.
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