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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
March 13, 2006

Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Marilyn Riley
(609) 984-7160


 
New Jersey First in Providing Patients High-Quality Hospital Care


 

TRENTON -- New Jersey ranks first nationwide in delivering high-quality hospital care, according to a state analysis of federal hospital quality data announced today by Commissioner Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.

New Jersey’s hospitals earned the highest overall score based on their treatment of patients in four areas -- pneumonia, heart failure, heart attack and surgical infection prevention – between April 2004 and March 2005.  

Results are based on a New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services analysis of data in Hospital Compare, the hospital-performance web site created by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospital Quality Alliance (HQA).  About 4,000 hospitals nationwide report data to CMS on 20 quality measures reflecting nationally recognized standards of patient care.

New Jersey’s Hospital Performance Reports for both 2004 and 2005 include data on most of the same heart attack and pneumonia treatment measures included in Hospital Compare.

“The hospital performance report has been an important tool for health care quality improvement. By shining a spotlight on performance, we’ve challenged hospitals and physicians to give each patient the best possible care,” Dr. Jacobs said. 

“Hospital associations, hospitals, physicians and academic researchers have undertaken many other projects that are having a positive effect,” he added.  New Jersey’s statewide focus on high-quality care is making a difference, and that’s good news for patients.”

The Department’s findings are consistent with a recent Commonwealth Fund report that used data from the same federal source.

Based on an analysis the Fund commissioned of federal Hospital Compare data, three New Jersey hospitals or systems ranked in the top nine nationally – Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, which operates two hospitals; Hackensack University Medical Center; and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.  The analysis appeared in the Fund’s December 2005 Quality Matters newsletter.

Data on the CMS web site Hospital Compare measures hospital performance in providing vital treatments such as:  screening patients and administering pneumococcal vaccine, if needed; giving angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors to cardiac patients; and offering patients smoking cessation counseling.

Pneumococcal vaccine can help prevent bacterial pneumonia, or reduce the risk of complications from the disease.  ACE inhibitors can help improve heart function.  Quitting smoking improves overall health and benefits both cardiac and respiratory health.

New Jersey’s score reflects how often hospitals give certain treatments to eligible patients.  On treatment overall, the state ranked first at 86 percent, ahead of South Dakota, Iowa, Maine and New Hampshire

DHSS is working with the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy and the New Jersey Hospital Association to help selected hospitals further improve their care of patients with heart failure – a condition that will be included for the first time in the state’s 2006 hospital performance report to be released later this year.  Participating hospitals, which have just been selected, will receive free training and technical assistance from experts in hospital quality convened by NJHA.  

The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey has given Rutgers a $125,000 grant for the first year of the project.

The department’s 2005 hospital performance report is available on the DHSS web site at:  http://www.state.nj.us/health/hpr.

# # #   

 

State Ranking and Overall Scores Based on Hospital Compare Data

April 2004 to March 2005

Rank

State

Score

 1

New Jersey

85.87

 2

South Dakota

85.03

 3

Iowa

84.95

 4

Maine

84.89

 5

New Hampshire

84.71

 6

Connecticut

84.20

 7

Nebraska

84.17

 8

Rhode Island

83.86

 9

Idaho

83.63

10

Wisconsin

83.60

11

Minnesota

83.48

12

Michigan

82.94

13

Ohio

82.65

14

Vermont

82.58

15.5

Colorado

82.42

15.5

North Dakota

82.42

17

Montana

82.26

18

Massachusetts

82.04

19

North Carolina

81.92

20

West Virginia

81.86

21

Oklahoma

81.48

22

South Carolina

81.08

23

Indiana

81.02

24

Maryland

80.63

25

Missouri

80.60

26

Virginia

80.56

27

Oregon

80.53

28

New York

79.88

29

Wyoming

79.80

30

Pennsylvania

79.67

31

Tennessee

79.56

32

Utah

79.47

33

Arkansas

79.43

34

Illinois

79.37

35

Arizona

79.36

36

Kentucky

79.25

37

Kansas

79.14

38.5

Delaware

79.01

38.5

Washington

79.01

40

Florida

78.14

41

Alabama

78.02

42

Louisiana

77.85

43

Alaska

77.41

44

Texas

76.83

45

California

76.78

46

Georgia

76.60

47

Mississippi

76.50

48

Hawaii

74.87

49

District of Columbia

74.58

50

New Mexico

74.37

51

Nevada

72.86

 

 
 
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