Glendale Memorial rates well

GLENDALE — An independent healthcare ratings company this week selected Glendale Memorial Hospital as one of the 50 Best Hospitals in the nation.

Being included in ratings firm HealthGrades’ second annual ranking puts the hospital on the list with nationally recognized facilities like Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

“As we’re being evaluated, it’s nice to be mentioned in the same breath as these other hospitals,” said Dr. Milton Louie, chief medical officer and senior vice president for medical affairs at Glendale Memorial. “We’re a small hospital compared to a hospital like Cedars. And we certainly don’t do all the same procedures they do. . . . But what we do, we do well.”

The ratings organization chose about 5,000 hospitals, then analyzed medical records between 1999 and 2006 that covered 27 procedures and diagnoses, from heart attacks to hip replacements to gastrointestinal procedures, said Scott Shapiro, vice president of corporate communications and marketing for HealthGrades.

Hospitals cannot submit an application to be considered by the company, and they cannot opt in or out of being rated, he said.

The hospitals included in the top 50 have a 27% lower mortality rate for their patients than the average mortality rate in U.S. hospitals, Shapiro said.

The distinction is a high honor in light of recent strides hospital officials have implemented, Louie said.

“We certainly have always tried to provide quality and compassionate care to people,” Louie said. “Our efforts for the past years are geared toward understanding the bigger picture for the patient, and we’ve implemented several strategic activities that really address the issue of patient satisfaction.”

Those activities include structuring time to meet individually with patients to talk about their experience at the hospital, Louie said.

“My effort is to focus on what our staff is doing,” he said. “We try to find out for the patient, ‘Is our staff doing what they say we’re doing?’ . . . . It’s sort of like a spot-check, and we provide that feedback to our staff.”

Glendale resident Ramona Kurasz, 56, who celebrates eight years as a breast cancer survivor in March, said she was very happy with the treatment she received at Glendale Memorial.

“The best thing about it was Marcia Ray Breast Center and support group,” she said. “That support group has been a lifesaver for me and many other women.”

The personal involvement of the hospital staff members made a good impression on her, she added.

“You can meet people who seem very nice,” she said. “But they really care when you meet them, and that’s a big thing.”

Glendale Memorial’s breast center was awarded a Center of Excellence award this year by the American College of Radiology, said Amy Stricker, manager of marketing and communications for Glendale Memorial. The hospital was also the first in Los Angeles County to receive the “Baby-Friendly” designation from the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, she said.


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