No one plans to get sick or need a visit to the hospital, but if you do, it’s good to know where you’ll receive the best care. A new list released by CosumerReports.org has named the safest hospitals in Illinois based on their abilities to avoid infections, readmissions, cesarean sections and surgery-adverse events.
The site rated 177 hospitals in Illinois on safety scores out of 100. The top-ranked hospital in Illinois was Touchette Regional Hospitals in Centreville with a score of 66. It had an excellent record of avoiding infections and a moderate record of avoiding readmissions, but a poor record of avoiding C-sections. The over-all lowest-rated hospital that the site rated in Illinois was South Shore Hospital in Chicago with a score of 27. (Some of the hospitals did not have enough ratings in each category to receive an over-all score.) It had a moderate rating in avoiding infections, a poor rating in avoiding readmissions and wasn’t rated in avoiding C-sections and surgery-adverse events.
The Consumer Reports website explained that data for the rankings were gathered from federal information about patient experiences, the Hospital Compare website, the Center for Medicare, Medicaid Services and state-reported data for C-sections. It said that not all hospitals had enough public information to allow them to be ranked. Also, the engineers of the ranking system adjusted the data where possible to reflect discrepancies where some hospitals had sicker patients to begin with or performed more high-risk surgeries.
The safety score was calculated by rating five areas of patient outcomes, each worth 20 points: hospital-acquired infections, unnecessary readmissions, mortality, communication about new medication and discharge instructions. Other factors considered in the ratings were patient outcomes such as central-line bloodstream infections and surgical-site infections, patient experiences like relationships with doctors and nurses and pain control and hospital practices such as appropriate use of scanning. Hospitals were also rated based on incidence of and complications from heart surgeries.
None of the state’s 10 top-ranked hospitals were in Chicago, while five of the state’s 10 lowest-ranked hospitals were in Chicago.
The top 10 best-ranked hospitals, with rankings out of 100, were:
1. Touchette Regional Hospital, Centreville (66)
2. Valley West Hospital, Sandwich (66)
3. CGH Medical Center, Sterling (64)
4. Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus, Silvis (64)
5. Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, La Grange (62)
6. Centgra Hospital, Woodstock (62)
7. Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield (62)
8. Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge (62)
9. St. Alexius Medical Center, Hoffman Estates (62)
10. FHN Memorial Hospital, Freeport (61)
The top 10 worst-ranked hospitals, with rankings out of 100, were:
1. South Shore Hospital, Chicago (27)
2. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, Melrose Park (30)
3. St. Bernard Health Care Center, Chicago (33)
4. Roseland Community Hospital, Chicago (34)
5. John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago (35)
6. St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Belleville (36)
7. St. Mary’s Hospital, Streator (36)
8. Presence Saint Francis Hospital, Evanston (37)
9. Graham Hospital, Canton (38)
10. Mount Sinai Hospital, Chicago (38)
A side-by-side comparison of the in-depth metrics Consumer Reports used to rank the hospitals of the top-rated hospital, Touchette Regional Hospital, and lowest-rated hospital, South Shore Hospital, found that Touchette Reigional Hospital scored better in every category in which they were both ranked, except for avoiding medical deaths (Touchette was moderate and South Shore was good), communication about drug information (they were both poor) and room cleanliness (they were both moderate). Touchette was especially good at avoiding infections, doctor-patient communication, appropriate use of abdominal scanning and appropriate use of chest scanning. South Shore was especially bad at avoiding readmissions, communication about hospital discharge, communication about drug information, help from hospital staff and appropriate usage of abdominal and chest scanning. They are both accredited, non-profit, non-teaching hospitals. South Shore has both more beds and more nurses than Touchette.
The explanation of the survey did point out that Consumer Reports only compiled and analyzed the data, they did not gather it themselves. Some of the data was compiled from administrative information and was never measured for patient outcomes, though Consumer Reports was able to use it to gather patient outcome info.
Consumer Reports said that the information presented is intended to help people choose hospitals in their area and ultimately help them to be healthy by highlighting areas that might need more attention when you are a patient at a particular hospital in Illinois.
If a hospital scores low in communicating with patients about what to do when they’re discharged, you should ask about discharge planning at the hospital you chose and make sure you know what to do when you leave.