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Saint Joseph East Named One of Top 100 Hospitals for Fourth Year
For the fourth time, Saint Joseph East has been honored as one of the 100 Top Hospitals in the U.S. in an annual ranking of the nation’s 3,000 acute-care general hospitals.

“This is another milestone in the history of Saint Joseph East,” said Saint Joseph East President Ken Haynes. “For the fourth year, Saint Joseph East has been named to the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Benchmarks for Success list. We earned this honor in 2005, 2007, 2008, and now again in 2011. This is an outstanding achievement.”

Saint Joseph East’s people make the difference, Haynes said.

“I could not be more proud of our staff’s efforts to make this facility such a safe, caring and financially strong hospital that serves the needs of our community,” he said. “The criteria for this award are rigorous, and they are national in scope. Our community leaders, management team, physicians, employees and volunteers deserve many thanks for their commitment to excellence.”

As a 100 Top Hospital, Saint Joseph East is one of the best in the nation in providing care that is effective, safe and patient-centered, according to Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, Thomson Reuters Performance Improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs.

“Saint Joseph East has systems in place to safeguard patients from medical errors, provides treatments proven to get results, and delivers effective care at a reasonable cost,” Chenoweth said. “The hospital is also a financially stable employer with high scores in patient satisfaction.”

The data for the 2011 study were collected from a number of public sources, including federal Medicare statistics. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay, to receive this honor. Thomson Reuters, an independent firm that performs the annual study, compared each hospital to peer hospitals in five categories: major teaching hospital, teaching hospital, large community hospital, medium community hospital and small community hospital. Saint Joseph East was among only 20 facilities nationwide to set new standards in the medium community hospital division. Only three other Kentucky hospitals were named to the Top 100 in the nation in 2011, including Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph East’s sister hospital, which claimed the award in the small community hospital division.

The other Kentucky hospitals that won were St. Elizabeth Healthcare in Edgewood and Harlan ARH Hospital in Harlan.

According to Saint Joseph East Administrator Eric Gilliam, striving for continuous quality improvement is a major reason the hospital has been named one of the nation’s winners for four years.

“We have a leadership team and employees who are really focused on quality outcomes and patient satisfaction,” Gilliam said. “And they are constantly looking for ways that we can improve.”

Being named a Top 100 Hospital is an achievement no one person can accomplish, the administrator said.

“It’s due to a team effort,” he said. “The leadership team here is highly engaged, and its members engage the staff. They all work together really well as a team. We are truly blessed with wonderful people.”

Earning national recognition is solid evidence that “Saint Joseph East is a high-quality hospital that delivers high-quality care, earns high patient satisfaction, and performs effectively and efficiently,” Gilliam said.

Physicians also have a great deal to do with the facility being named one of the best in the U.S., he said.

“We couldn’t do it without the physicians. We have a dedicated medical staff that continually drives quality improvement initiatives.”

To Thomson Reuters’ Chenoweth, the 100 Top Hospitals are raising the bar for health care nationwide, she said.

“We estimate that if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care that patients do in the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals, more than 116,000 additional patients would survive each year,” she said. In addition,
• more than 197,000 patient complications would be avoided annually;
• expense per discharge would drop by $462;
• and the average patient stay would decrease by half a day.

Benchmark hospitals are identified by the following measures, Chenoweth said:
• high survival rates for patients, and low complication rates;
• high patient safety;
• using benchmark national treatment standards for all heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgery patients;
• and a high level of efficiency in terms of length of patient stay and average expense. In the best hospitals, patients return to their daily lives faster, and costs are lower, she said.

“A high-performing hospital is well-managed financially so it can attract the best health care professionals and expand services to improve results for patients,” Chenoweth said. “A 100 Top Hospital, as a major employer, is financially strong and can pay good salaries, support the local economy and invest in new technologies. Saint Joseph East has emerged for the fourth year as that kind of hospital.”

Haynes agrees. “Providing the best patient care possible is what we strive for every day,” he said. “Patients can feel comfortable knowing they’re receiving care at a facility that is among the best in the nation.”
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