Southern Arizona residents have one more reason to be proud of Tucson’s legacy hospital, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital. The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America, has named St. Mary’s among the top performing hospitals in the nation for quality and safety.  

The announcement of the Top Performers on Key Quality Measures™ occurs in the fall of each year and coincides with the publication of Improving America’s Hospitals: The Joint Commission’s Annual Report on Quality and Safety 2012 which recognizes these hospitals for their exemplary performance. There are 620 hospitals being recognized this year; approximately 18 percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals reporting core measure performance data.  

St. Mary’s was recognized for its achievement on the following measure sets: heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and stroke. The ratings are based on an aggregation of accountability measure data reported to The Joint Commission during the 2011 calendar year.  

“Today’s Joint Commission report on hospital care is great news for St. Mary’s patients, families, associates, physicians, and for our local community,” said Dorothy Sawyer, MN, FACHE, Senior VP and Chief Executive Officer, St. Mary’s Hospital. “It shows that St. Mary’s is a standout facility not just locally, but nationally. We are particularly proud of this Joint Commission designation in light of the other wonderful accolades our physicians and associates have been able to celebrate this year.”  

Among St. Mary’s other awards and designations this year:  

·   Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™ by Healthgrades® (2012, 2011). (This honor places St. Mary’s   among the top 5% of hospital nationwide for clinical excellence.)  

·   Distinguished Hospital for Critical Care by Healthgrades (2012)

·   Five-Star Rated for Treatment of Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Stroke, Pneumonia, Bowel Obstruction, Sepsis, and Respiratory Failure by Healthgrades  (2012)  

·   Received one of the highest grades (B) of any Tucson hospital for safety from The Leapfrog Group (June 2012)  

·   Honored by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association (AHA/ASA) with the Get with the Guidelines Gold Quality Achievement Award for Heart Failure care (2012, 2011) and Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for Stroke care (2012)
 
·   Top Performing Hospital in the Midas+ Platinum Quality Award (2011)  

A Top Performers on Key Quality Measures, such as St. Mary’s, must first achieve performance of 95 percent or above on a single, composite score that includes all the accountability measures for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, including measures that had fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients. Second, the hospital also must meet a 95 percent performance threshold for every accountability measure for which it reports data to The Joint Commission, excluding any measures with fewer than 30 eligible cases or patients.

The Top Performers on Key Quality Measures program is designed to inspire better performance on accountability measures and to serve as an incentive for all hospitals to improve and be the best they can be.  According to The Joint Commission annual report, “These (Top Performer) hospitals are leading the way in quality improvement, as American hospitals as a whole continue to make strides. While all hospitals achieving improvements deserve congratulations, those making the list have achieved an exemplary level of performance.”  

“We understand that what matters most to patients at St. Mary’s is safe, effective care,” said Dr. Amy Beiter, St. Mary’s Hospital Chief Medical Officer. “That’s why Carondelet has made a commitment to becoming a high reliability organization that provides the highest quality and safest care for all patients.” 

“As hospitals work diligently to improve quality and safety, I am energized by their ability to respond affirmatively to challenges,” noted Mark R. Chassin, M.D., F.A.C.P., M.P.P, M.P.H, president of The Joint Commission in the report. “Their capacity for continual improvement points toward a future in which quality and safety defects are dramatically reduced and high reliability is expected and achieved. Day-to-day progress will slowly but surely transform today’s health care system into one that achieves unprecedented performance outcomes for the benefit of the patients we serve.”  

In addition to the many quality and safety accolades received this year at Carondelet St. Mary’s, the hospital has recently undergone a $2 million exterior renovation, opened The Breast Center at St. Mary’s -- a comprehensive screening-to-survivorship clinical initiative launched by St. Mary’s-based physicians and specialists, and is currently undergoing a $17 million interior renovation to relocate the Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute onto its campus.
 
1The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. 

About Carondelet Health Network Located in Tucson, Arizona, Carondelet Health Network is a Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system dedicated to responding to the health, prevention, education, and wellness needs of Southern Arizonans. Carondelet was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet 132 years ago. Carondelet’s Tucson facilities include St. Mary's Hospital, St. Joseph's Hospital, Carondelet Heart & Vascular Institute, and Carondelet Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Carondelet Holy Cross Hospital in Nogales, Arizona. Carondelet’s family of services also include nearly two dozen primary and specialty care offices, an ambulatory surgery center, several imaging centers, Hospice and Palliative Care, and a variety of other outpatient services. Carondelet Health Network is a ministry of Ascension Health, the nation's largest Catholic, not-for-profit healthcare system. In Fiscal Year 2011, Carondelet provided nearly $52 million in Community Benefit to improve the health of our community and increase access to healthcare. More information about Carondelet Health Network is available at www.carondelet.org.