DOVER-FOXCROFT - Both of Piscataquis County's hospitals earned high marks in a report released May 25 by the Maine Hospital Association.
Maine's hospitals score better than 97 percent of hospitals nationally in how they treat heart attacks and heart failure and scored above the national norm 175 times in 16 categories of patient satisfaction, according to the MHA report.
"Maine hospitals have always been leaders in quality improvement as evidenced by two recent Medicare studies that showed Maine hospitals ranking third in the country for quality of care," said Steven Michaud, MHA's president. "Because we feel strongly about continually improving the quality of patient care and sharing reliable, useful information with consumers, MHA and its member hospitals voluntarily embarked on the two projects that resulted in this report."
"Caring for Our Communities: Quality Performance and Improvement in Maine's Hospitals" is the first-ever hospital-specific report about clinical quality and patient satisfaction data designed and released by MHA and its member hospitals. The report is the result of a voluntary initiative by the majority of Maine hospitals to assess, improve and report on the quality of care they provide.
The report describes how Maine hospitals perform in the treatment of heart attacks and heart failure and how satisfied past patients have been with their hospital experience. In the clinical quality project, independent evaluators measured how often hospitals administered evidence-based clinical treatments for heart attacks and heart failure. In the patient satisfaction project, an independent organization surveyed patients on their opinions of their hospital stay in 15 measurement areas. Both projects compare Maine hospitals to national norms.
Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft and Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital in Greenville both scored above the national norms for overall inpatient satisfaction, earning four-star rankings on a five-star scale. Mayo and Dean each ranked above the national norm in 10 of the 15 core measurement areas on the patient satisfaction survey.
In the clinical quality project, Mayo scored substantially above the national norm, in the top 2.5% of national hospital scores, earning a five-star ranking for treatment of heart attack and heart failure. Dean did not participate in the clinical quality project due to a low volume of those cases during the reporting period.
The fundamental benefit of this project for hospitals, their staff and their patients is the use of data to improve patient care. Both projects include training to help improve patient care. For example, at MHA meetings, hospital representatives from around the state gather with their peers to share successful techniques that have improved communications and the quality of care provided at their hospitals. This valuable information is then incorporated into the ongoing internal hospital quality improvement efforts.
"Hospitals simply cannot fulfill their missions of caring for the ill and injured if they are unable to assure the public that quality of care is their highest priority," Michaud said. "By providing this open and thorough accounting of valid, comparable information, MHA hopes to nurture continued trust in Maine hospitals as providers of world class medicine, close to home."
The full report is available at www.themha.org.