Top 5% Nationally in 2010 for Patient Safety and Clinical Excellence

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Augusta Health was identified as a recipient of the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ today and the only hospital in Virginia to also receive the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ this year. These awards indicate that Augusta Health's patient safety and quality ratings are among the top 5% of U.S. hospitals, in a new study released today by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization. Augusta Health is one of only 74 hospitals in the country to receive both designations in 2010.

Medicare patients at hospitals receiving the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award™ were, on average, 43% less likely to experience a patient safety event. And, patients admitted to Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™ had risk-adjusted mortality rates that were, on average, 29 percent lower than all other hospitals. Risk-adjusted complication rates were, on average, 9 percent lower than all other hospitals.

The seventh annual HealthGrades Patient Safety in American Hospitals study and the eight annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study analyzed nearly 40 million hospitalization records from approximately 5,000 hospitals nationwide that participate in the Medicare program. Participation in the HealthGrades studies is not voluntary, and hospitals cannot choose to opt out of these analyses.

If all hospitals performed at the level of Patient Safety Excellence Award™ hospitals like Augusta Health, approximately 218,572 patient safety events and 22,590 Medicare deaths could have been avoided while saving the U.S. approximately $2.1 billion in excess costs from 2006 through 2008. If all hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™, 150,132 patient deaths among Medicare patients may have been prevented and 13,104 in hospital complications among Medicare patients may have been avoided.

"We are here to honor our hospital, and our outstanding employees and physicians for receiving national recognition from Health Grades. I am so very proud and personally honored to be associated with such an excellent organization and I speak for all the board members when I say thank you to our employees and physicians for the commitment that they give each and everyday to our hospital and our patients", says Mary Mannix, F.A.C.H.E. President and Chief Executive Officer.

"On behalf of HealthGrades I'd like to congratulate Augusta Health for a track record of patient safety and clinical quality that is among the best in the nation," said Rick May, MD, a vice president at HealthGrades and co-author of the study. "Hospitals like Augusta Health are setting benchmarks of superior performance that we would like to see other hospitals emulate."

Augusta Health Media Contact

Vicki Kirby
(540) 332-4969
vkirby [at]

HealthGrades Media Contact

Scott Shapiro
(720) 963-6584
sshapiro [at]