Straight Talk

July 23, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

In healthcare, quality counts. And when independently declared by reputable outside evaluators, quality counts the most.

I’m pleased, therefore, that the quality of healthcare at NCH was again confirmed by two credible independent organizations—U. S. News & World Report and Health Care’s Most Wired Survey, a team composed of Hospitals & Health Networks, College of Healthcare Information Management Executives and American Hospital Association. U. S. News & World Report ranked NCH in the top 10 systems of the over 300 in Florida. The 17th annual Most Wired Survey awarded NCH a Most Wired designation for the fourth consecutive year. NCH and 338 other organizations of 4,500 hospitals across the nation received the Most Wired award for competence in computer technology.

In the U. S. News & World Report analysis over 30 years, NCH has improved from 22nd to 17th and is now tied for 9th place in Florida. We have also been designated “Best in Southwest Florida” for five years in a row. Only 10% of our nation’s hospitals shared this rating as high performers.

In presenting the rankings, Ben Harder, chief of health analysis for U. S. News & World Report, said, “The choice of hospital is one of the most important and costly decisions an individual makes. We evaluate the treatment of more than 3.6 million patients and identify a small percentage of hospitals that have superior outcomes compared with their peer institutions. Whenever possible, patient, in consultation with their doctors, should seek out high performing hospitals that excel in treating their specific conditions.”

U. S. News & World Report understands that healthcare is shaped by the care process, which encompasses diagnosis, treatment, prevention and patient education. Outcomes are the product of process and can be measured by harm avoidance, risk adjusted mortality (the likelihood of death when the patient’s condition and the complexity of the case are taken into account) and by related indictors such as complications, readmissions, patient safety and infection rates. Hospitals on the U. S. News & World Report list enjoy reputations for developing and sustaining a system that delivers high-quality care.

Connecting quality and safety with process and outcomes requires a robust information technology system. The Most Wired Survey recognizes us among the elite in the nation for computer technology. Working over 25 years with our Cerner partner, NCH uses information technology to drive clinical improvement, shape strategy, and add value for our patients. We have a wireless, interconnected inpatient and outpatient environment with our NCH Physician Group.

We offer “Smart Rooms” at our North Naples Campus, wirelessly monitoring patients and assisting nurses, physicians and caregivers, who communicate with each other and facilitate the documentation process. Smart Rooms are now being installed in our downtown campus. Information technology helps us predict and, to a great extent, prevent serious blood stream infections called sepsis. Over the past three years, our sepsis mortality rate has dropped from the nation’s average of over 30% to consistently less than 10% and in recent months down to 4%. Patients and caregivers also enjoy full interconnectivity access through a patient portal to personal health record across NCH and the NCH Physician Group.

NCH has been fortunate to be so recognized for quality and technology. But the real reward comes in the form of being better able to help everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.


Allen Weiss, M.D. Signature

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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