One of America's 100 Best Hospitals

2/23/16 — Today, Healthgrades announced that St. Mary's Health Care System has received the Healthgrades 2016 America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™.

The distinction makes St. Mary's one of the top 2 percent of more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide for consistent, year-over-year superior clinical performance as measured by Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

In addition to receiving the 2016 America's 100 Best Hospitals AwardTM, St. Mary's also has received the Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM and Outstanding Patient Experience AwardTM for five years in a row (2011-15), and Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award-Clinical ExcellenceTM for three years in a row (2013-16). St. Mary’s is the only hospital in Georgia to receive the 2016 America's 100 Best Hospitals AwardTM, along with the Healthgrades 2015 Patient Safety Excellence AwardTM and the 2015 Outstanding Patient Experience AwardTM.

"These are some of the most significant awards St. Mary's has ever received," said Don McKenna, St. Mary's President and CEO. "They are based on hard evidence that proves we have achieved and maintained clinical outcomes that are among the best in America. I am as proud as I can be of our medical staff and employees for their ongoing commitment to providing the highest level possible of safe, high-quality patient care."

From 2012 through 2014, Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™ recipients, as a group, had a 26.5 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate across 19 procedures and conditions where in-hospital mortality was the clinical outcome, compared to all other hospitals. During this same period, if all other hospitals had performed at the level of St. Mary's and the other recipients of America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™ across these 19 procedures and conditions, 170,705 lives could potentially have been saved.

For example, Healthgrades reports, patients treated at a hospital that has achieved the America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™ had, on average:
•23.2 percent lower risk of dying during their hospital stay for stroke than if treated at a hospital that did not receive the award.
•32.1 percent lower risk of dying during their hospital stay for heart failure than if treated at a hospital that did not receive the award.

St. Mary's is among the hospitals providing some of the highest quality care across at least 21 of 32 common inpatient conditions and procedures. Outcomes were evaluated by Healthgrades over a period of at least 6 years.

“Our analysis shows that there is tremendous variation in care, so it’s important for consumers to carefully research and choose a hospital,” said Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer, Healthgrades. “We commend the recipients of the America’s 100 Best Hospital Award for delivering exceptional clinical outcomes that help them stand out from their peers in terms of overall clinical performance.”

"These awards are a major milestone in our ongoing commitment to patient safety and quality," said Nina Evans, St. Mary's Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. "The awards confirm that our multi-disciplinary approach to quality improvement is having the results our patients need: higher quality, higher safety, and better patient experience."

Evans cited a number of initiatives that have enhanced quality over the years, especially the continuous process improvement required to achieve Joint Commission disease-specific certification in six areas, Gold Plus and Target:Stroke awards for stroke care from the American Heart Association/Stroke Association, chest pain center with PCI accreditation from the Society of Cardiovascular Patient Care, and designation of St. Mary's as Georgia's Large Hospital of the Year in 2006, 2010 and 2015 by the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals.

In addition, she said, a high number of St. Mary's clinical staff have achieved certification in specialties ranging from lactation consultation to palliative care. Also, St. Mary's has invested in technology and renovations to improve quality, safety and efficiency, and in numerous Lean Six Sigma projects to improve effectiveness.

According to Healthgrades, the 100 recipients of the America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™ stand out among the rest for overall clinical excellence across a broad spectrum of care. During the 2016 study period (2012-2014), these hospitals showed superior performance in clinical outcomes for patients in the Medicare population across at least 21 of 32 of the most common inpatient conditions and procedures — as measured by objective performance data related to risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complications.

Healthgrades makes its ratings methodology available to the public for full transparency. To learn more about how Healthgrades determines the recipients of America’s 100 Best Hospitals Award™, please visit www.healthgrades.com/quality.

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About St. Mary's Health Care System
St. Mary’s Health Care System is a faith-based, not-for-profit health care ministry whose mission is to be a compassionate and transforming healing presence in the communities we serve. Sponsored by Catholic Health Ministries and part of the nationwide Trinity Health system of care, St. Mary’s puts special focus on neurosciences, cardiac care, orthopedics, general medicine, general surgery, women’s and children’s health, and care for older adults. Our system includes hospitals in Athens, Lavonia and Greensboro, as well as a region-wide home health care/hospice service, retirement community, numerous physician practices, outpatient care facilities, and medical education. St. Mary’s is a certified chest pain center, a gold-plus hospital for stroke care, and was named Georgia's Large Hospital of the Year in 2006, 2010 and 2015.