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Report: LRMC leads other county hospitals

Quality care cited in online Medicare site

September 25, 2013
By MEL TOADVINE (mtoadvine@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Lehigh Regional Medical Center scores high marks in many, if not most, categories of health care administered to its patients and when, compared to other hospitals in Lee County, many of the scores are higher. This means LRMC's rankings are above the core averages or are delivered better than at other hospitals in the county, officials there said.

Joanie Jeanette, the president and CEO of Lehigh Regional Medical Center, said she is very proud of how Lehigh Regional Medical Center stacks up in all categories in core measurements. The information is available on the Internet under Medicare.gov. Traverse the site to find comparisons among hospitals.

Among the many statistics cited in the report, Jeanette is especially proud that Lehigh Regional Medical Center spends only 24 minutes as an average time patients spend in the ER before they are seen by a healthcare professional.

Article Photos

Joanie Jeanette

At LRMC, it's 24 minutes which is the lowest amount of time when compared to other hospitals in Lee County, including Gulf Coast Medical Center - Lee Memorial health Systems and Lee Memorial Hospital.

At Lee Memorial Health Systems, it took three times as long for patients to be seen, according to the official reports released by the U.S. government's site by Medicare.

Gulf Coast Medical Center Lee Memorial Health Systems reported 71 minutes while Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers reported 88 minutes for patients to wait to be seen by a healthcare professional. The Florida state average is 27 minutes and LRMC was below the state's average.

Likewise, LRMC scored the best number of minutes overwhelmingly when it comes the average time patients spend in the ER before being sent home.

At LRMC, the figures stated in the report were 101 minutes at LRMC. At Gulf Coast Medical Center, Lee Memorial Health Systems, it was 202 minutes and at Lee Memorial Hospital in Fort Myers, it was 172 minutes.

LRMC beat the state average stay by nearly an hour. At LRMC, the figure of 101 minutes was much shorter than 154 minutes, which is the state's average for all hospitals.

The information is available to the public online and the results cited answer many questions concerning patient survey results, effective heart failure care, to timely surgical care and other topics of interest to patients who choose which hospitals to receive care.

Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) is a national survey that asks patients about their experiences during a recent hospital stay.

In this category, Lehigh's LRMC received the best score in the average number of minutes before outpatients with chest pain or possible heart attacks got an ECG. At LRMC, it was reported at five minutes while at Lee Memorial Hospital, it was reported at seven minutes, the state average.

The report goes into such statistics as percentages of outpatients with chest pain or possible heart attacks who got aspirin within 24 hours of arrival. LRMC scored a perfect 100 percent. The state average is 98 percent of the time and at Lee Memorial Hospital it was only 92 percent of the time.

Heart failure patients given discharge instructions scored 84 percent while Gulf Coast Medical Center - Lee Memorial Health Systems scored only 74 percent and Lee Memorial Hospital scored only 69 percent.

In the Surgical Care division of the latest report, 100 percent of pneumonia patients whose initial emergency room blood cultures were performed prior to the administration of the first hospital dose of antibiotics. Gulf coast Medical Center, Lee memorial Health systems had a 93 percentage report and Lee Memorial Hospital had a close 97 percentage point.

The state average was 98 with LRMC's figures above the norm.

Much detail is offered in other areas such as percentages of surgery patients who were given an antibiotic at the right time (within one hour before surgery) to help prevent infection. At LRMC, it was reported at 99 percent, again beating out the percentage times by a few points at the other hospitals in Lee County.

LRMC's percentage points for surgery patients who were given the right kind of antibiotic to help prevent infection scored a 99 percentage while other hospitals in Lee County scored a few points lower. The 99 percentage point was the state average.

Interestingly enough, LRMC also scored higher with surgery patients whose urinary catheters were removed on the first or second day after surgery.

For LRMC, the figure was at 94 percent, much above 81 percent at Gulf coast Medical Center Lee Memorial Health Systems and at Lee Memorial Hospital, a 73 percent figure.

LRMC's average of 94 percent even beat the state average of 96 percent.

"These are quality of care core measurements and we are proud of our numbers because our objective is better quality for the patient and to be scored highest in so many areas when compared to other hospitals in the county is good news for us," Jeanette said.

Hospitalcompare.com is the site that offers the quality scores from different hospitals.

Jeanette has been with LRMC for nearly three years and many changes have come about after she took over the hospital as its administrator.

The 88-bed facility at 1500 Lee Blvd. will be a part of Community Health Systems (CHS) once shareholders and others okay the purchase by CHS of several hospitals which were owned by Health Management Associates (HMA).

CHS announced in August that it intended to purchase Health Management Associates, owners of LRMC and other hospitals and planned to acquire the Naples-based group in a $3.9 billion deal that will create a very large hospital-for-profit chain just as the country's Obamacare health program is to go into implementation next year.

"We're waiting final word on the purchase," Jeanette said this week. "I can tell the residents of Lehigh that we are here to stay; we are not moving to any other location, we are here for them," she said.

 
 

 

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