Community Hospital ranks in national quality survey

Published 11:46 am Monday, November 17, 2008

By Staff
Community Hospital-Watervliet has earned high marks in a recent national survey that measures patient perceptions of care.
The HCAHPS survey, or "Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems," is a government survey designed to measure patients' opinions of their hospital care.
Unlike other hospital rankings systems, HCAHPS scores are derived solely from patient satisfaction feedback.
Community Hospital's key areas of recognition over regional hospitals included the highest overall ratings for "hospital care" and "hospital recommendation to others."
Arbor Associates, a national health care research firm, ranked HCAHPS results for all Michigan hospitals, including Community Hospital-Watervliet.
In their report, Community Hospital ranked 6th in Michigan for patients who gave the hospital a rating of 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest).
The hospital also ranked fifth in Michigan for patients who reported they would definitely recommend the hospital to others.
Administration with the Watervliet hospital couldn't be more pleased with the results.
"Our HCAHPS survey outcomes are a real tribute to the physicians and staff at Community," says Ray Cruse, Community Hospital CEO, and formerly of Lee Memorial Hospital in Dowagiac.
"Together they work hard to deliver excellent care and create a positive patient experience each and every day. We are extremely pleased with our scores, especially several which rate us nationally as a 'Top Hospital'," Cruse says. "Naturally, we are grateful for this recognition of quality by patients, but we'll also use this data to identify areas for ongoing improvements."
HCAHPS was developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) along with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), another agency in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The survey's goal is to produce data about patients' perspectives of care for objective and meaningful comparisons of hospitals, to create new incentives for hospitals to improve quality of care and to increase the transparency of the quality of hospital care for the public.
Voluntary collection of HCAHPS data for public reporting began in October 2006.
The HCAHPS survey asks patients 27 questions about their hospital experience, including key aspects of the hospital experience such as communication with nurses and doctors, the responsiveness of hospital staff, cleanliness and quietness of hospital environment, pain management, communication about medicines, discharge information, overall rating of hospital and recommendation of hospital.
The data is then compiled and analyzed for each participating hospital.
"The Board of Directors is very proud of all the efforts by our physicians and staff to deliver great care," remarked Norma Somers, Community Hospital board member. "Without this type of standardized survey to allow for regional hospital comparisons, the public would have no reliable source for quality data," she remarked. "Community Hospital would continue to be the area's best-kept secret for care."
The public can access survey data at, an online site created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services and other members of the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA). The site provides access to the HCAHPS patient satisfaction data as well as comparisons of area hospitals using other quality indicators of care.