UMC chief medical officer responds to low score in study

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Updated: 4/05/2013 9:05 pm
University Medical Center is tied as the tenth lowest scoring teaching hospital in the country, among 258 others in a new Consumer Reports study on hospital safety.

The report measured five areas: readmissions, complications, communication, the overuse of CT scans and infections. Overuse of CT scans was UMC's main downfall.

UMC scored 30 points on a 100 point scale, while the national average for all hospitals was 49. Dr. Mike Ragain, Chief Medical Officer at UMC defended the low score, saying UMC is exceptional on a broader scale.

"We really like to look at the whole scorecard when we look at data," Ragain said. "And this is really a slice of that score card. That's the frustration, because it's narrow, it's not very many things. And it's old data, those two things are a challenge."

The data collected for the report was from 2010. Since then, Dr. Ragain clams UMC has continue to make improvements.

"If you look at our metrics over the last year, every single one we've improved. And we're driving, soon to be, top 100 hospital," he said.

Doris Peter from Consumer Report's Health Rating Center said the report isn't comprehensive, but it's still important.

"Mainly it's an awareness of safety problems in hospitals," she said. "I think that in many cases, we put, you know, a lot of trust in our doctors, which is important that we do that, but I think we also have to be aware of all the issues that one can face when you're in the hospital."

Not only is this report helping patients understand what's going on in hospitals, but it's also attempting to hold hospitals responsible for areas they can improve on.

"I think we are pointing fingers at specific hospitals and asking them to be better, to let hospitals know we're looking at these things. We're taking the data that's publicly available that they're reporting to the government and we're making it into formats that consumers can understand," said Peter. "And now consumers are going to be able to ask questions about it and be able to make choices about the hospitals that they go to."

Dr. Ragain said UMC is constantly trying to improve. In fact, he said they are in the top ten percent in the country for overall patient satisfaction.
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