11:27 PM

Kalispell Regional Healthcare hospitals recognized for high quality ratings

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) hospitals were recently recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for delivering high quality care.

Kalispell Regional Medical Center (KRMC) was one of three hospitals in Montana and one of 293 in the nation to earn an Overall Hospital Quality 5-Star Rating from CMS.

North Valley Hospital (NVH) received a 5-Star Rating for patients’ experiences, which is determined by the results of a national survey that asks patients about their experiences during a recent hospital stay. NVH consistently ranks well above the national average in most categories.

The HealthCenter ranked better than the national average for having low readmission rates. Returning to the hospital for unplanned care disrupts patients’ lives, increases their risk of harmful events like healthcare-associated infections, and costs more money. Hospitals that give high quality care can keep patients from returning to the hospital and reduce their stay if they have to come back.

Both NVH and The HealthCenter also ranked exceptionally well overall, both receiving a 4-Star Rating.

The CMS rating system reports on quality measures for more than 4,500 hospitals around the country. It was created through the efforts of CMS in collaboration with organizations representing consumers, hospitals, doctors, employers, accrediting organizations and other federal agencies. These ratings are determined by measures of many aspects of quality care, including mortality, readmission, safety, patient experience, efficiency, timeliness and effectiveness of care.

“The CMS Star Rating is one of several quality ratings tools that rank hospitals on patient experience, processes, outcomes, patient safety, and cost,” said Doug Nelson, MD, KRH Chief Medical Officer. “We’re very proud of our high rankings; however, the quality measures are also tools that help us understand how we can continue to improve.”

Dr. Nelson cited other third parties that recognized KRH hospitals’ high quality of care. For example, KRMC was named among the nation’s top 100 rural and community hospitals in 2018. NVH was designated a Baby Friendly Hospital, a project the Birth Center and all NVH employees worked toward for more than five years.

KRH has multiple initiatives underway that seek to improve the quality of care provided to patients. For example, the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus program, which has been implemented in nine KRH primary care clinics, focuses on improved patient access, quality of care and reductions in cost of care by providing case management, access to integrated services such as diabetes management and behavioral health within the primary care clinic and focusing on a broad array of quality measures that indicate better health outcomes for the patients and the overall population.

“For us, measuring quality and outcomes for our patients is not about showing how good we are,” said Dr. Nelson, “It’s about increasing years of life and the quality of those years for the entire population we serve.”