Quality of Care at Birmingham Hospitals



90.3 WBHM The debate over the fate of Birmingham's indigent care provider Cooper Green Mercy Hospital has been mired in politics and passion. There are weekly protests downtown (Rev. Al Sharpton's coming to town Friday), accusations of racism, offers by Governor Bentley to step in, and a rebuff of any offer to intercede.

There are have been disagreements over motivations, over finances, and over the where Cooper Green's current patients will go for treatment. There are, as we say in the South, "a lot of people with dogs in the fight."

That's partly why we're doing a deep dive in the data to a get a snapshot of how Cooper Green stacks up against other local hospitals -- hospitals that may end up caring for some of Cooper Greens patients. Hospitals submit reams of data to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We've examined Patient Satisfaction data, which show that in most cases Cooper Green rates on par with other local hospitals. Notable exceptions are how well patients think nurses communication and how likely patients are to recommend the hospital.

Today, we look at the Timeliness and Effective Care data. These measures show how often hospitals provide care that research shows gets the best results for patients with certain conditions. This information can help you compare which hospitals give recommended care most often as part of the overall care they provide to patients. HHS asks hospitals to submit data in five categories:

  • Heart Attack Care
  • Heart Failure Care
  • Pneumonia Care
  • Surgical Care
  • Children's Asthma Care

  • And this is how it parses out. Note: We have not included sub-categories in which the hospitals we compare (Cooper Green Mercy, UAB Hospital, and Baptist Princeton) have either not submitted the data or have insufficient numbers of patients to submit data.

    TIMELY HEART ATTACK CARE




    EFFECTIVE HEART ATTACK CARE




    HEART FAILURE CARE




    TIMELY PNEUMONIA CARE




    EFFECTIVE PNEUMONIA CARE




    TIMELY SURGICAL CARE




    EFFECTIVE SURGICAL CARE




    For more information on what each of these measures is and why they are important click here. The numbers contained in these graphs are as of October 11, 2012.

    You can compare up to three hospitals of your choosing with this handy tool.

    - Tanya Ott, October 24, 2012