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Health care data does not accurately reflect care

In a recent News article, a report card puts the region’s hospitals near “average.” It’s important for the public to know that the data used to arrive at the Niagara Health Quality Coalition’s (NHQC) star ratings is nearly two years old.

While we don’t dispute the data for the time period under review, we think health care consumers would be better served to know that in most cases where we received a below-average rating, these ratings no longer accurately reflect the care provided at Catholic Health. With the area’s most comprehensive quality and patient safety program, including the public website knowyourhealthcare.org, Catholic Health is a strong proponent of making its quality outcomes available to the public. Along with other important quality information, this website contains current data on key performance measures for 2012, as well as Catholic Health’s quality goals for 2013.

Stroke Services at Mercy Hospital, for example, have improved significantly since the NHQC data was collected in 2011. Today, Mercy Hospital houses a Neuro Intensive Care Unit staffed by the area’s only board-certified neurointensivists (neuro critical care specialists), providing among the most advanced stroke care in the region.

Moreover, all Catholic Health hospitals, including Mercy, were recently awarded the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get with the Guidelines Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award for Stroke Care.” This award measures Catholic Health’s adherence to quality measures and clinical guidelines established by the AHA/ASA to ensure patients receive the highest-quality care.

In addition, Mercy Hospital was the only hospital in Erie County named to AHA/ASA’s “Target Stroke Honor Roll” for providing clot-busting medications quickly to prevent death and disability in stroke patients.

Providing safe, high-quality care is Catholic Health’s number one priority and we encourage health care consumers to consult with their physicians and use quality report cards effectively by understanding their source, methodology and timeliness to make the most informed health care decisions.

Brian J. D’Arcy, MD

Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs

Catholic Health