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Aurora Health Care sets national standard for health care quality

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Premier Healthcare Alliance recognizes Aurora with eight top awards

At a time when Wisconsin is being recognized as the top state for health care quality, Aurora Health Care is setting the standard for quality in Wisconsin and the nation.

The Premier Healthcare Alliance, a national alliance of 1,700 not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, today recognized Aurora with eight 2007 Premier Awards for Quality for excellence in the care of patients. Aurora’s eight awards are the most one health system has ever achieved in one year. The eight awards are among 49 quality awards presented by Premier to hospitals and health systems across the country.

The announcement of the awards follows last week’s release of a new report by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality showing that Wisconsin ranks first among the states for health care quality.

“Aurora’s physicians, nurses and other professionals across eastern Wisconsin are focused on making a difference, and great things are happening,” said Bruce Van Cleave, M.D., Aurora’s chief medical officer and senior vice president for strategic management. “Our patients expect and deserve the best care, and we’re proud to be setting the standard for quality.”

The Premier Award for Quality is based on quality and cost data regularly submitted to Premier by the nation’s top hospitals. Premier maintains the nation’s most robust database on health care quality. The database is the foundation for the pay-for-performance demonstration project undertaken by the federal government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The Premier Award for Quality is distinguished by its consideration of performance-based criteria, including clinical quality outcomes, clinical process indicators and resource utilization outcomes. The award recognizes hospitals delivering cost-effective patient care.

Aurora is being recognized as a national leader in five of the six clinical areas that Premier measures. They are heart failure, obstetrics, pneumonia, acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), and hip and knee replacement.

Patrick Falvey, Ph.D., Aurora’s vice president of care management and clinical research, said the awards reflect a high level of care for all of Aurora’s patients, from Kenosha to Marinette.

“Aurora offers a complete continuum of health care services and integrates care across that entire spectrum,” Falvey said. “This allows all of our hospitals and clinics to learn from one another and ensures that the same quality standards are incorporated into care provided at all of our locations and at all stages of life.”

Clinical areas considered for the 2007 Premier Award for Quality were: hip and knee replacement procedures; coronary artery bypass grafts; heart failure; pneumonia; acute myocardial infarction (heart attack); and maternal and neonatal care (pregnancy). Three winners were picked in each category for each hospital type from an eligible pool of nearly 400 Premier hospitals. Hospitals that submitted data to Premier's Perspective™ database, the most comprehensive clinical, financial and operational comparative database in the nation, between October 2005 and September 2006, were eligible to receive the 2007 Premier Award for Quality. More information is available on the Premier web site at www.premierhospitalawards.com.

“Hospitals that win the Premier Award for Quality deliver the highest quality of care in a cost-effective way,” said Stephanie Alexander, senior vice president and general manager of Premier Healthcare Informatics. “Congratulations to all award recipients for delivering excellent patient care by using best practices and evidence-based decision-making.”

Dr. Van Cleave praised the efforts of Aurora’s health care professionals and emphasized that Aurora’s intense focus on quality improvement will continue.

“There is always room for us to raise the bar higher,” he said. “We are striving every day to find new ways to improve care for our patients and reduce the cost of care.”

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Ron Irwin (414-647-3405)

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