Beebe gets another Distinguished Hospital Award for excellence

For the fourth year in a row, Beebe Medical Center has received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence. Beebe is the only hospital on Delmarva to receive the award four years running, and the distinction puts them in the top 5 percent of hospitals nationwide.

“It really recognizes all the hard work our community of doctors and employees have done to try to continually improve our performances here at Beebe Medical Center,” said Beebe Medical Center CEO Jeffrey M. Fried.

He said achieving the award for four years is a real “outcome of our efforts.”

“It shows a consistency in outstanding clinical care and reflects the commitment to quality and patient safety of our board members, our physicians, our clinical staff and all of our employees.”

He said the award reflects the hard work of both inpatient and outpatient initiatives.

“The award also recognizes the attention to detail and to continuously improving processes, both inside the hospital and in our outpatient programs, such as Beebe CAREs, that have made our clinical outcomes some of the best in the nation.”

He explained that Beebe CAREs is a new initiative that is committed to proactively helping people in the community improve their health care before they ever need to come to the hospital or emergency room.

“It’s a really exciting program that really represents where we need to be, moving forward,” he said.

Healthgrades evaluates the performance of approximately 4,500 hospitals nationwide, and consumers can check their Web site and can view statistics on certain years at Beebe Medical Center (or another evaluated hospital) on everything from how many foreign objects were left in a patient during an operation (none) to how well nurses communicated with patients (better than the national average). It also makes it simple for everyday Web users to understand where hospitals can improve, as compared to other hospitals in the area and nationally.

Fried said the clinicians at Beebe get results of the tallied information and then can meet to see where improvements need to be made. Although they have consistently been rated highly on a whole for the past four years, Fried said striving for improvement is always a goal.

“Well, we always say we’d like to be five stars in every category,” said Fried.

Beebe Medical Center is one of 262 hospitals named this year that stand out across a broad spectrum of care. From 2009 to 2011, according to Healthgrades, Healthgrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence award winners had an overall 30.9 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate compared to other hospitals that did not receive the award.

“Today, consumers have unprecedented access to information on hospital performance as it relates to specific conditions and procedures so they can make more informed decisions about who to see and where to go for care,” said Evan Marks of Healthgrades. “The Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence enables hospitals to communicate their commitment to providing outstanding patient care and to show their continued efforts to improve clinical outcomes.”

The high ranking is a feather in Beebe’s camp, but for many people, it is their experience that counts more than any numbers or surveys or even awards.

At the beginning of her 2006 treatment for lung cancer, Kathy Connor — a former nurse — went to the trouble to get all of her records from Georgetown University Hospital, before she found out that the nurses at Beebe Medical Center’s Tunnell Cancer Center would have done that for her.

“She told me, ‘I would have done that,’” recalled Connor earlier this fall of one Beebe nurse. “She said she was there, and I could call her for anything I needed. I can’t really say enough about the Tunnell Cancer Center. At Georgetown, it was nice, but it is a hospital clinic. Beebe has more of a home-like atmosphere. You don’t feel alone or anything like that. You can tell you are not a number and people really care about you.”