A Message to the Community
From Robert Klugman, MD, Senior Vice President, Chief Quality Officer, Medical Director Managed Care, UMass Memorial Health Care
To the UMass Memorial Community, Our Physicians and Staff:
UMass Memorial Health Care and its hospitals are committed to delivering high-quality, safe and affordable patient care. We continually hear from our patients about the care they receive from our nurses and physicians: They write letters and emails to us and complete patient satisfaction surveys after they leave our hospitals. They also respond to surveys conducted by outside sources that publish reports. In addition, our hospitals submit information to entities that rate our care based on quality and safety measures they develop and report upon.
In June, 2012, UMass Memorial saw results in two such reports – one from Consumer Reports, which partnered with Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP) to survey patients of primary care practices throughout the Commonwealth, and Leapfrog Group, which presented its Hospital Safety Score.
The Consumer Reports/MHQP report confirms many things we already know – our primary care physicians and their staffs are top notch, communicating well with our patients, effectively coordinating their care, truly learning about their patients and family history, providing them timely information and appointments, as well as courteous and respectful customer service.
In fact, of the 487 practices ranked by Consumer Reports/MHQP in its report, 14 of our practices received a four rating (the highest) in all five categories described above, placing them in the top three percent of practices statewide. Plus, 25 practices (including two of our private practice teams) received a rating of four in four categories, placing them in the top eight percent statewide. Our rankings outpaced other highly regarded organizations, including Lahey Clinic, Harvard Vanguard and Massachusetts General Hospital. Congratulations to our dedicated primary care physicians and staff! You can view the full report here.
Leapfrog Group is one in a rapidly growing field of organizations providing consumers with score cards they can use to choose their care. All of our UMass Memorial member hospitals were rated by Leapfrog in its Hospital Safety Score report, except Clinton Hospital due to Leapfrog’s standard regarding hospital size.
Three years ago, UMass Memorial Medical Center and several of our member hospitals decided to stop submitting information to Leapfrog because of a growing dissatisfaction with the methodology and lack of clarity in its analysis. We believe the Leapfrog quality rating system does not provide sufficient information to help us prioritize our quality and patient-safety improvement initiatives.
Leapfrog rates our Medical Center's Memorial and University campuses separately, even though they both provide focused specialized services, including cardiac, stroke and surgical care. As a result, the scores present an inaccurate portrayal of our health care services. In addition, Leapfrog ratings require a self assessment of quality and safety efforts by each hospital, which it does not audit, and subsequently provides an open interpretation at each hospital and potentially questionable results.
Given that the Medical Center does not submit data to Leapfrog, in its latest report we received a zero grade on the self-reported measures, which results in our receipt of a “C” grade overall. But we are not alone – renowned hospitals including The Cleveland Clinic and New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center received “C” grades as well! Read the article in the Wall Street Journal.
We regret if the Leapfrog report confuses you, our patients or members of the communities we serve. We stand on our record and performance on quality and safety. We are continually working on making care safer and more cost effective and have invested in process improvements and patient-centered care programs that are winning high praise from our patients and outside sources, such as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We celebrate our many successes including:
- Our ranking among the best in the state and nationally for outcomes for heart attack, coronary bypass surgery and cardiac valve replacement surgery and preventing cardiac surgical infections.
- Our stroke program’s recognition by the American Heart Association.
- Our renowned eICU care ranked first by VISICU eICU Quality Consortium and highlighted by the Journal of the American Medical Association for significantly reducing mortality and improving patient outcomes.
- Our central line infection rate approaching zero percent despite treating some of the sickest patients.
- Our high scores from CMS for our surgical safety initiatives and our preventable events including retained foreign bodies, pressure ulcers, falls and blood clots.
We remain committed in our pursuit of providing quality, patient- and family-centered care to Central New England. We thank our staff and physicians who make a difference everyday to ensure we provide the best care to our patients.