By Tatiana Prophet, Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.
Oct. 24–VICTORVILLE — Critically injured patients might need to be transported by helicopter out of the Victor Valley, but mothers-to-be can feel secure about giving birth at a hospital in the area. Victor Valley Community Hospital was rated in the top 5 percent in the nation for maternity care by HealthGrades, an independent health care research firm based in Golden, Colo. The rating also included five stars for Victor Valley’s patient outcomes, indicating that they were better than expected. St. Mary Medical Center, Desert Valley Hospital and Barstow Community Hospital all received three stars for patient outcomes that were “as expected.””We don’t deliver the most, but we do a good job with what we do,” said Ray Marien, manager of public affairs and marketing for Victor Valley. “We’ve got an excellent, experienced staff, I mean they’re truly caring. It’s a top priority for us. The two biggest areas in the hospital are maternity and emergency room.” Marien pointed to the presence of fetal monitors that are in each labor and delivery room as an example of the high-quality of care. He also cited the practice of keeping the infant with the mother at all times, even during emergencies, as evidence of the great care the hospital takes when it comes to bringing children into the world. Hospital CEO Margaret Peterson said she was proud of the maternity staff. “Attainment of this prestigious level of excellence is a direct reflection of not only their dedication and professionalism, but also of the excellence of our medical staff,” she said. For the maternity care rating, a panel of physicians ranked the following criteria: in-hospital complication rates associated with vaginal and cesarean deliveries, in-hospital volume, neonatal mortality and complication rates for non-indicated or patient-choice cesarean sections. The ratings were based on care given between 2002 and 2004. HealthGrades, a publicly traded company, makes its ratings available on its Web site free of charge. About 2.5 million people visit the Web site each month to find hospitals that provide high quality of care, and employers also direct their employees to the firm so they can optimize their health care. HealthGrades analyzes the quality of care at more than 1,400 hospitals across 17 states that make case files available. Victor Valley Community Hospital also received five stars for diagnosis and care involving hip fracture repair, appendectomies and community-acquired pneumonia. Desert Valley Hospital also received five stars in the category of community-acquired pneumonia, while St. Mary received three stars in every category, meaning care was satisfactory. Tatiana Prophet may be reached at 951-6222 or at [email protected]
Copyright (c) 2006, Daily Press, Victorville, Calif.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.
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