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Consumer Reports gives high marks to Oaklawn surgical services

Oaklawn Hospital ranks among Michigan’s most trustworthy hospitals for safe surgical services, according to Consumer Reports magazine.

Oaklawn is among the top 20 percent of Michigan hospitals for surgical safety, according to the authors of the article, titled “Your safer-surgery survival guide.”

The article, which appears in the magazine’s September 2013 issue, ranks 2,463 acute-care and critical-access hospitals nationwide, 83 of them in Michigan.

“We’ve worked hard for decades to make patient safety and high-quality care our foremost goals,” said Ginger Williams, Oaklawn’s President and CEO. “It’s very gratifying for Oaklawn and the communities we serve that our efforts have been noticed.”

Seventeen Michigan hospitals received top and better-than-average rankings, according to the article. Oaklawn, Hillsdale Community Health Center and Pennock Hospital in Hastings were among hospitals in southern lower Michigan receiving such rankings.

The article’s ratings were presented on a five-point spectrum ranging from “better” to “worse” and examined how high-volume hospitals in each state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico compare in avoiding adverse events in Medicare patients during their hospital stays for surgery. Veterans Affairs hospitals were not rated.

“Our new surgery ratings are part of an ongoing effort to shed light on hospital quality and to push the health care industry toward more transparency,” the article’s authors wrote, citing results for 27 types of scheduled surgeries that were combined into an overall rating with assistance from the health-care consulting firm MPA. The period studied was from 2009 through 2011.

The ratings were based on the percentage of a hospital’s surgery patients who died in the hospital or stayed longer than expected for their procedure. Such measures “are correlated with complications, and some hospitals themselves use this approach to monitor quality,” the authors wrote.

Additional information and links to the article may be found online at ConsumerReports.org/surgeryratings.

In early 2012, Oaklawn opened its $25 million Rob Covert Surgery Center of Excellence as part of an ongoing effort to improve surgical scheduling and enhance technological options for surgical procedures.

As a result, 43,540 square feet of space were added to Oaklawn’s overall dimensions. The center features four 625-square-foot operating rooms, 18 private pre-op/post-op rooms, nursing stations and an immediate recovery area, a medical staff lounge and locker rooms, sterilization and supply rooms.

Surgeons work with video monitoring screens connected to three cameras per room, and can view patient information such as X-rays on the screens. Clinical staff outside the operating rooms can link to the system to view surgery in progress.

“Our staff truly goes ‘above and beyond’ to care of our patients, and to make sure they are treated safely,” Williams said. “This recognition is a wonderful compliment to the way they always make the patient experience at Oaklawn exceptional.”

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