By Martha Bebinger
Public health officials in Rhode Island suggest new medical performance evaluations of hospitals suggest they are already leading to improvements in care. The Health Department released the first ratings on Tuesday.
I really think they will be better because I'm aware of how much work our hospitals are putting into quality improvement and sharing methods of quality improvement that I believe are really improving things as a whole, said Dr. Patricia Nolan, Dirctor of the Department of Health.
Hospitals are rated on how often they follow national guidelines for treating heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia. Seven out of ten acute care hospitals in Rhode Island beat the average in an eight state pilot study using those measures. Roger Williams Medical Center, Westerly Hospital, and Newport Hospital received the top grades in those categories.
Lower scores went to Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket. Administrators there are disputing the conclusions. They claim the report was based on faulty data. State health officials are standing by the conclusions.