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Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital ranks 3rd best in U.S. for low readmissions among heart attack patients

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital was recently named the third best hospital in the U.S. for heart attack treatment by Becker's Hospital Review, which released a list of the top 50 hospitals in the country based on hospital readmissions within 30 days among patients who were treated for a heart attack. The rankings are based on publicly reported data submitted to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from 2007 to 2010, the most recent comparative data available.

"At Santa Rosa Memorial's Heart & Vascular Institute, our team is focused on continuously improving the quality of care by doing what's best for our patients," said cardiologist John B. Reed, MD, a medical director at Memorial's Norma and Evert Person Heart & Vascular Institute. "Precision coordination is needed between paramedics in the field and our hospital-based team to minimize the damage done when a patient suffers a heart attack. That's followed by collaboration between doctors, nurses at the bedside, case managers, home health professionals, and patients themselves to support the best outcomes after heart attack patients return home. This national recognition shows what a difference these team efforts make for patients and their families."

The 30-day readmission rate, according to CMS, tracks when heart attack patients who have had a recent hospital stay need to go back into the hospital again within 30 days of being discharged. These rates are risk adjusted, meaning they take into account how sick patients were before they were admitted to the hospital.

Among the top 10 hospitals in the country, only three hospitals were in California – including Memorial's sister hospital within the St. Joseph Health system, St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, which was ranked fifth in the country. (See Becker's Hospital Review or visit the CMS's site.)

Factors influencing Santa Rosa Memorial's low readmission rates include but are not limited to:

  • Lower-than-national average door-to-balloon times (the time between heart attack patients' arrival at the ER and their treatment in the cardiac catheterization lab to restore blood flow in blocked arteries). Santa Rosa Memorial's door-to-balloon time surpasses the Joint Commission's 90-minute standard, with an average of 61 minutes (based on the most recent six months of data available, spanning December 2011 to May 2012). See more information below about national statistics.
  • Participation in the American College of Cardiology's national Data Registry to benchmark multiple indicators of quality heart attack care against best practices nationally.
  • Improved communication between doctors, nurses, case managers, home health liaisons, patients and their families during and after their hospital stay.
  • Focused education of patients and their families prior to discharge to ensure they are properly managing and adhering to each patient's medication regimen.
  • Personalized outreach by social workers and case managers to ensure patients receive timely follow-up exams by their doctors after discharge.
  • Referrals to and collaboration with HeartWorks outpatient cardiac rehabilitation services.
  • Support for patients who lack a consistent "medical home" or primary care provider, to link them with ongoing primary care.

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital has been among the forerunners in a continuing nationwide effort to reduce door-to-balloon time in heart attack patients – speeding the time between a heart attack patient's arrival at the ER and the time the patient receives angioplasty, an emergency artery-opening procedure performed in the Heart & Vascular Institute's cardiac catheterization lab. According to a study published in the journal Circulation in August, the average door to balloon time across the U.S. fell during the period from 2005 to 2010 from 96 to 64 minutes. Click here to read the study.

The Heart & Vascular Institute at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital is home to the highest-quality, most advanced cardiovascular services available throughout the North Coast of California. Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital brings together cardiologists, cardiac and vascular surgeons, thoracic surgeons, interventional radiologists and other specialists to deliver the region's most comprehensive range of care. Together, the hospital and its community partners provide a continuum of care encompassing emergency treatment, diagnostic procedures, interventional cardiology, minimally invasive heart surgery, electrophysiology, cardiac rehabilitation and education. Click here for more information about Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital's cardiovascular services.

About St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County, and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County is a not-for-profit provider of integrated health care, which is sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry. Its mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by improving the health and quality of life of the communities it serves. Entities include the 278-bed Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the 80-bed Petaluma Valley Hospital, Memorial Hospice, Hospice of Petaluma, North County Hospice, St. Joseph Urgent Care Centers, and St. Joseph Home Care Network. The organization's more than 2,000 local employees offer residents of the Redwood Empire a spectrum of healthcare services. These include general acute care hospital services, Level II trauma services, urgent care services, health prevention and promotion, outpatient behavioral health care, palliative care, rehabilitation, home care, and community benefit programs that improve the health of our communities and the quality of life in Sonoma County and California's North Coast region.

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