NCH Healthcare System Recognized for Clinical Excellence in Women’s Health in HealthGrades® Study

Naples, FL (June 24, 2008) – The NCH Healthcare System announced today that it has been recognized with a 5-star ratings placing them among the Top 5% for women's health services / Top 5% for women's cardiac services based on a study issued today by HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings company. The HealthGrades Fifth Annual Report on Women's Health Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals which analyzed cardiac and stroke outcomes for women as well as maternity care, found the best-performing hospitals, those rated with five stars, had an overall risk-adjusted inhospital mortality rate that was 40 percent lower than poor performing hospitals.

Additionally the NCH Healthcare System received a five-star rating for maternity care and is ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals for maternity care services.

The HealthGrades study analyzed the outcomes of women admitted with heart disease and stroke to more than 1,400 U.S. hospitals. The study found that the risk-adjusted mortality rates for women improved, on average, 15 percent from 2004 through 2006, but that a wide disparity in quality exists between the nation's best and worst hospitals.

If all hospitals studied performed at the level of the best-performing hospitals during 2004 through 2006, 14,023 deaths among women hospitalized for cardiovascular disease could have been potentially prevented.
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“The NCH Healthcare System has been a leader in heart care for some time. To be recognized for quality services to women in the areas of heart, stroke and maternity care truly speaks to the quality of the caregivers and physicians in these important medical service lines,” said Pat Read, Administrative Director, NCH Healthcare System. “It is because of the hard work and expertise of these professionals that women in our region receive quality that is among the best in the nation,” adds Read.

In recent years, public health campaigns aimed at raising awareness among women about their risks of cardiovascular disease have impacted early recognition of cardiovascular disease (CVD) symptoms and prompted women to seek treatment earlier. Interventions targeted at reducing the risk of late or non-detection of CVD symptoms have likely contributed to the mortality improvements found in the study, and they will no doubt continue to improve outcomes for women in future years.

For its 2008/2009 ratings, HealthGrades independently analyzed the quality of maternity care, as well as the cardiac and stroke outcomes for women, at hospitals in the 17 states that publish outcomes data, objectively assessing their clinical performance and quality. HealthGrades applied the following rating system to all hospitals included in the analysis:

  • Five-star (Best) = Top 15% of all hospitals within 17 states
  • Three-star (Average) = Middle 70% of all hospitals within 17 states
  • One-star (Poor) = Bottom 15% of all hospitals within 17 states

The 2008/2009 HealthGrades ratings for maternity care are based on a programmatic evaluation including complication rates for c-sections and vaginal deliveries, delivery volume, and neonatal mortality. Women's Health ratings combine a hospital's maternity care rating with clinical performance in the treatment of stroke and cardiac services for women, including heart surgery, heart attack, heart failure, and cardiac interventions. The complete methodology can be found in the study, on

“Women account for 60 percent of all hospitalizations each year,” said Samantha Collier, HealthGrades' Chief Medical Officer. “Our research demonstrates the critical need for these women to evaluate the quality of care provided to them before being admitted to the hospital.”

The complete maternity care and women's health services ratings are published, free of charge, on the HealthGrades Web site, Ratings for 27 other medical procedures and diagnoses – including cardiac, pulmonary, vascular, stroke, orthopedics, critical care, bariatrics, and gastrointestinal services – are also available on the HealthGrades Web site.

The NCH Healthcare System is a full service, integrated healthcare system with 681 licensed beds collaborating with more than 535 independent physicians to care for over 31,000 patients each year. Additionally, NCH's ERs and outpatient areas had over 120,000 visits for the past few years. Caring for all ages in the community it serves, NCH performs approximately 500 open heart surgeries and 4,200 deliveries each year. NCH has been recognized by various quality agencies for low mortality in caring for heart attacks, strokes, as well as other areas.