News at NCH
NCH Among Top 5% in Nation for 4th Consecutive Year

Recognized for outstanding clinical performance by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings company

[Naples, Florida] (January 31, 2008) – The NCH Healthcare System announced today that for the fourth consecutive year, it is among the nation's top five percent of hospitals, according to an independent study of mortality and complication rates released today by HealthGrades, the nation's leading healthcare ratings company.

The NCH Healthcare System has achieved HealthGrades' 2008 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical ExcellenceTM based on its clinical quality performance. According to the HealthGrades study, patients admitted to a hospital receiving this award are, on average, 27 percent less likely to face mortality and 5 percent less likely to suffer from a major complication. This year, only 269 of the nation's 4,971 non-federal hospitals will receive this distinction.

HealthGrades estimates that if all patients were treated at Distinguished Hospitals, 171,424 lives could have been saved and 9,671 post-operative complications could have been avoided during the three years studied.

Allen Weiss, M.D., NCH President and Chief Executive Officer said, “We're proud that this is the fourth consecutive year that NCH has earned this distinction. It is a testimony to the extraordinary efforts of all of our NCH caregivers and physicians. It is because of their hard work that our patients and their families receive the quality of health care that ranks us among the best in the nation.”

The HealthGrades study shows that Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence are improving their patient outcomes at a greater rate in more procedures and diagnoses than all other hospitals, lowering risk-adjusted mortality rates over the years 2004, 2005, 2006 by an average of 15%.

“The gap between top-performing hospitals and others persists," said Samantha Collier, MD, HealthGrades' chief medical officer. "But Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence like the NCH Healthcare System have proven that it is possible to consistently deliver top-notch medical care consistently, across a range of procedures.”

In addition to this most recent award, the NCH Healthcare System has also been ranked Best (#1) in Florida for both Overall Cardiac Services and for Cardiology. Other Top 5% awards include, but are not limited to, Spine Surgery, Back and Neck Surgery, Treatment of Stroke, Pulmonary Services, and GI Medical Treatment.

The NCH Healthcare System is a full service, integrated healthcare system with 681 licensed beds collaborating with over 535 independent physicians to care for over 31,000 patients each year. Additionally, NCH's ERs and outpatient areas had over 120,000 visits for the past few years.

Caring for all ages in the community it serves, NCH performs approximately 500 open heart surgeries and 4,500 deliveries each year. NCH has been recognized by various quality agencies for low mortality in caring for heart attacks, strokes, as well as other areas.

Each year, HealthGrades independently analyzes the clinical quality performance of all non-federal hospitals across the country in 27 procedures and diagnoses. In the Distinguished Hospital Study, the company reviewed tens of millions of hospitalization records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over the years 2004, 2005 and 2006. All hospitals that participate in the Medicare program were part of the independent study. Hospitals that receive the HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence are those hospitals that rank in the top five percent when all 27 individual scores are aggregated into an overall score.
 

The 2008 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available, free of charge, on the organization's award-winning consumer Web site, located at http://www.healthgrades.com/. More than three million individuals and employees of some of the nation's largest employers and health plans visit HealthGrades each month to access quality information about hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. HealthGrades also provides consumers and payers with detailed assessments of hospitals' patient-safety outcomes, based on indicators developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

About NCH Healthcare System

The NCH Healthcare System is a full service, integrated healthcare system with 681 licensed beds collaborating with over 535 independent physicians to care for over 31,000 patients each year. Additionally, NCH's ERs and outpatient areas had over 120,000 visits for the past few years. Caring for all ages in the community it serves, NCH performs approximately 500 open heart surgeries and 4,500 deliveries each year. NCH has been recognized by various quality agencies for low mortality in caring for heart attacks, strokes, as well as other areas.