published Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Chattanooga, Dalton hospital care top list in outcomes

Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga.
Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga.
KEVIN CUMMINGS
List of best cities for hospital care
List of best cities for hospital care

A new study ranks Chattanooga as one of the nation’s best metropolitan areas for hospital care.

Healthgrades, a Denver-based provider of consumer information on physicians and hospitals, said Tuesday that Memorial hospital in Chattanooga and Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton, Ga., were among the best U.S. hospitals, as measured by the outcomes on 26 different medical procedures and diagnoses.

With two of the region’s five major hospitals on Healthgrades’ list of “distinguished hospitals for clinical excellence,” Chattanooga was rated as the seventh best city in America for overall hospital care. The next highest rated city in Tennessee was Knoxville at No. 20 and the best city in Georgia was Atlanta ranked 50th.

“Hopefully, this recognition will help more people realize that you really don’t have to leave Chattanooga to get the best health care,” said Melissa Roden, vice president of quality for the Memorial Healthcare System. “We’ve been able as a region to recruit some amazing physicians and we’ve been able to attract new technology to keep us on the cutting edge.”

Roden noted that Memorial was the first hospital in Tennessee to recently perform a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. The newly FDA-approved technology allows the replacement of an aortic valve with only a small incision in the upper thigh, rather than open heart surgery.

Memorial and Hamilton hospitals ranked among the top 5 percent of U.S. hospitals for the best outcomes from hospital surgeries and treatments. Healthgrades said the best-rated hospitals had a 30 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and an average of nearly 2 percent lower risk-adjusted hospital complications compared to all other hospitals.

“We look at patient discharge records over three years and adjust the results for the acuity of the patient’s illness or injury to make what we believe is the best comparison among hospitals,” said Marsha Austin, director of corporate communications for HealthGrades.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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