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Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita

Once again, hospital quality study finds Via Christi top 5 percent in nation

Wichita, KS (Jan. 26, 2011) – Via Christi Health’s Wichita hospitals are in the top 5 percent in the nation for clinical performance for a fifth year in a row, according to a study released today by HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent source of health care provider information.

The HealthGrades Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence study objectively identifies those hospitals with the best overall clinical performance across all 26 medical diagnoses and procedures that the organization rates. Each of the 268 top-performing hospitals, representing only 5 percent of the nation’s hospitals, is designated as a HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence™.

Via Christi, whose award is based on outcomes from Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis and Via Christi Hospital on Harry, is the only provider in the region to receive the Distinguished Hospital award and one of only 92 out of 5,000 hospitals nationwide to receive it for five consecutive years.

“I’m pleased to see the care Via Christi physicians and staff provide to patients and their families once again recognized on a national stage,” said Randy Peterson, interim chief executive officer for Via Christi Health and senior vice president for Via Christi Health Hospitals. “It’s their day-to-day commitment to delivering the high-quality care that helps us ensure that the comprehensive care we provide is also the best possible care.”

Unlike other hospital quality studies, HealthGrades evaluates hospitals solely on clinical outcomes: risk adjusted mortality and inhospital complications. HealthGrades’ analysis is based on approximately 40 million Medicare patient discharges for 2007, 2008 and 2009. Using these top-performing hospitals as a benchmark in this year’s HealthGrades study, HealthGrades quantifies the impact of differences in hospital quality in terms of lives lost and unexpected complications.

The HealthGrades study found that:

  • Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence such as Via Christi outperform all other hospitals across all of the 17 mortality cohorts and six of nine complication cohorts studied from 2007 through 2009.
  • Specifically, Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence had a 29.82 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate and a 1.91 percent lower risk-adjusted inhospital complication rate among Medicare beneficiaries compared to all other hospitals.
  • In fact, if all hospitals performed at this level, 158,684 Medicare lives could potentially have been saved and 3,511 Medicare inhospital complications potentially could have been avoided.

According to HealthGrades, Via Christi is:

  • No. 1 in Kansas for Treatment of Stroke and has been in the top 5 percent in the nation for six years in a row (2006-2011)
  • No. 1 in Kansas for Critical Care Services and has been in the top 5 percent in the nation for three years in a row (2009-2011)
  • The only Kansas hospital in the top 5 percent in the nation for Gastrointestinal Medical Treatment in 2011
  • In the top 5 percent in the nation for Overall Pulmonary Services for a third year in a row (2009-2011)
  • The best in the Wichita metro area for Cardiology Services two years in a row (2010-2011)

In addition, Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis is the only Wichita-area hospital to be recognized as a National Research Corporation 2010/2011 Consumer Choice Award winner. The award identifies hospitals that healthcare consumers have chosen as having the highest quality and image in over 300 markets throughout the U.S.

Winners are determined by consumer perceptions on multiple quality and image ratings collected in the company's Ticker survey. Of the 3,200 hospitals named by consumers in the study, the winning facilities rank highest in their metropolitan statistical area. The Ticker study surveyed over 250,000 households representing over 450,000 in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia.

The NRC survey is the nation's largest and most comprehensive study of its kind and has a margin of error of + or 0.2 percent at a national level.

HealthGrades’ Hospital Ratings

As part of this study, HealthGrades rates each of the nation’s 5,000 nonfederal hospitals in 26 procedures and diagnoses, allowing individuals to compare their local hospitals online at HealthGrades’ hospital ratings are independently created; no hospital can opt-in or opt-out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated. Mortality and complication rates are risk-adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared equally.

About HealthGrades

HealthGrades is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades Network of Web sites, including and, is a top-ten health property according to comScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers. More information on how HealthGrades guides Americans to their best health can be found at