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Published on April 02, 2014

Consumer Reports announces Valley West as one of Illinois' top hospitals for patient safety

April 2, 2014

Courtesy of Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network

Valley West HospitalSANDWICH, IL - It’s not every day one’s workplace makes national news.

So it’s no wonder Dave Proulx did a double-take Thursday as ABC News announced Valley West Hospital as one of Consumer Reports’ top picks in Illinois for patient safety.

“This came as a complete surprise to me. I thought with our patient numbers being so small, we couldn't compare to the large metropolitan hospitals in the Chicago area, such as Rush-Copley Medical Center,” said Proulx, Assistant Vice President, Valley West Operations, KishHealth Systems, Sandwich. “But it’s great to know others are recognizing we can.”

Consumer Reports released safety scores for 2,591 U.S. hospitals on March 27th, combining five key measures into one composite score, giving consumers a way to compare hospitals on patient safety.

Of the 71 hospitals that Consumer Reports rated in the Chicago area, Valley West Hospital, Sandwich, tied for the highest patient safety score. The remaining hospitals in the top 10 included: Adventist LaGrange Memorial Hospital, Centegra Hospital, Central DuPage Hospital, Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, St. Alexius Medical Center, Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, Alexian Brothers Medical Center, Palos Community Hospital, and Rush-Copley Medical Center.

Consumer Reports’ five categories include mortality (medical and surgical), readmissions, overuse of CT scans, hospital-acquired infections, and communication. The data for all of the Safety Score components are the most recent available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS, January 2014).

Valley West Hospital received its highest rankings in doctor-patient communication, nurse-patient communication, pain control, appropriate use of abdominal screening, appropriate use of chest scanning, and room quietness. Avoiding readmissions, overall patient experience, help from hospital staff, room cleanliness, and use of electronic health records’ score were ranked above average.

“Our doctors have admitting privileges to perform surgeries at Rush-Copley, Mercy (Hospital and Medical Center), etc., and people don’t realize this,” said Proulx. “Knowing you could have the same doctor (as a metropolitan hospital), using the same state-of-the-art equipment while paying less for more quality, why would you want to go anywhere else?”

Proulx credits Valley West Hospital’s affiliation with KishHealth Systems but also puts a great deal of credence in hometown values for his hospital’s success.

“In a small community, either you’re related or know someone or you’re family to that person, and you take care of family and friends,” said Proulx. “That’s not generally what you’ll find in a metropolitan hospital. We are quite proud of what we've accomplished here.”

Click here for the full report.For more information, visit www.consumerreports.org.

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