HealthGrades Study Finds Patients Treated at 5-Star Hospitals are 80% Less Likely to Experience a Major Complication

Brawley, CA (November …., 2010) – The recently released HealthGrades’ annual study ranks Pioneers Memorial Hospital among the best in the nation for achieving superior patient outcomes when performing total knee replacement procedures and repairing emergent hip fractures. HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent ratings organization, evaluates patient outcomes for 5,000 hospitals. This research is the only comprehensive analysis based solely on patient mortality and complication rates focused on how well hospitals provide effective and appropriate care for their respective patients.

The public is demanding increased public reporting of quality measures, and recent government reform efforts support this call to action. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 40% of adults report that they believe there are major differences in hospital quality in their immediate geography. Additionally, since 1996, the number of consumers that indicated they would choose a hospital based on a high quality rating over familiarity has increased to 72% from 59%.

The hospital wholeheartedly supports all efforts to make its services available to the residents throughout the state and we are pleased to announce that Pioneers Memorial Hospital has been recognized for the following HealthGrades 2011 quality distinctions:

•        Rated Best in the Region* for Total Knee Replacement Surgery in 2011

•        Five-Star Rated for Total Knee Replacement in 2011

•        Five-Star Rated for Hip Fracture Repair in 2011

•        Ranked among the Top 15% in the nation for Total Knee Replacement in 2011

•        Ranked among the Top 15% in the nation for Hip Fracture Repair in 2011

*Region defined as El Centro, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area

This is not the first time Pioneers Memorial has received unsolicited third party validation for the quality of care that our facility provides.  In fact, in June the maternity care services at Pioneers ranked among the top 10% in the nation with the lowest complication rate in the region.  As the recipient of the Maternity Care Excellence Award™ it demonstrates the organization’s commitment to providing a safe and comfortable environment for our community residents to deliver their babies.  HealthGrades has recognized Pioneers’ and its medical staff with a Five-Star ranking four of the five most recent time period for maternity care services.

“We are again pleased to have our medical staff and Pioneers recognized for the ongoing com[d commitment to utilizing best practice research and evidence to provide patients with effective/ treatments,” stated Travis Calvin, M.D., Chief of Staff at Pioneers.   “As a long time surgeon here in Imperial County, it is important to know that the team at Pioneers continues to focus on quality care and the right new technology to support the needs of our patients” continued Calvin.

The HealthGrades study, the largest annual report of its kind, analyzed patient outcomes in nearly 40 million Medicare hospitalization records from the years 2007, 2008 and 2009. Among the findings related to in-hospital complications in this year’s study are:

  • Across all procedures in which complications were studied, there was an 80% lower chance of experiencing one or more complications in a 5-star rated hospital, like Pioneers Memorial, compared to a 1-star rated hospital.
  • Across all procedures studied, there was a 63% lower chance of experiencing one or more in-hospital complications in a 5-star rated hospital compared to the U.S. hospital average.
  • If all hospitals performed at the level of a 5-star rated hospital, 185,875 in-hospital complications may have been avoided among Medicare patients over the three years studied.

American households are now the second largest payer of health care services, second only to the federal government, and are outspending private business. So it is not surprising that patients are now consuming complex quality information that at once was only available to hospitals themselves.

“Pioneers is committed to providing superior quality of care along with an overall satisfactory service experience when patients select their organization,” stated Leo Haggarty, president, PMHD Board of Directors.  “Interdisciplinary teams continue to seek improvement based on best practice for core measurement and for patient satisfaction.  Our slogan “Pioneers. Here for Good.’ is based on our intent to be the best in all the healthcare services we provide,” continued Haggarty.

The new 2011 hospital ratings for all of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals are available for free to all consumers by visiting

HealthGrades Hospital Quality Ratings

HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

For 26 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a 5-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average, to a statistically significant degree. A 3-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Because the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for equal comparisons.

More information on the Thirteenth Annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America study, including the complete methodology, can be found at