Munson Medical Center has been given the lowest mark from Consumer Reports in a new ranking on surgical safety. The report appears in the September issue of the magazine.
Munson ranked in the bottom six of more than 80 Michigan hospitals. The results surprised Dr. Douglas McKay, medical director of quality at Munson.
“Ironically Consumer Reports in the last six months rated us as the number one in the state for safety, with pretty much the same data,” he says.
This is the first time the magazine has ranked surgical safety. Its researchers say they looked at data from Medicare patients and based rankings on the number of patients who died in the hospital or who stayed longer than expected after surgery.
McKay says that’s a common way to measure patient safety, but he also says the results of the survey are not consistent with other similar studies, and so he hopes to learn more about the specific methods Consumer Reports used to draw its conclusions.
“This is a different measure than what others have used,” he says. “We don’t know if it’s better or worse. Only time will tell. But we need to look at it any analyze it ourselves and see, was there something we could have done better. Not just because of the ranking, but because it’s the right thing to do for patient care.”
McKay says the data he’s looked at from Medicare shows the hospital’s rate of serious complications is better than the national average.
Researchers with the magazine acknowledge in a press release that the rankings are not a perfect measurement, saying they want access to better data. But they also call the rankings an important “first step” toward helping patients be better informed.
For more, listen to our conversation with Dr. McKay (above).