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OpEd: Manhattan hospital president provides survey update

Several weeks ago, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, using a newly revised system, released its first hospital quality rating since December 2017.

Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan had a two-star overall rating in the survey, which includes only data pertaining to Medicare patients, from 2014-2018 depending on the indicator.

We agree that we can and should do better than what this one snapshot in time depicts. That’s why we are constantly reviewing data pertaining to patient safety, outcomes and experience to see where our efforts to continually improve in all three categories are working and where more effort is needed.

We are committed to achieving excellence in our overall quality of care and are making great strides.

In addition to the information reported in our local newspaper, we’d like you to know that:

  • In March, four Joint Commission surveyors were onsite for a four-day accreditation survey, after which we received extremely positive feedback about our quality and patient safety processes and results. As a reminder, accreditation by The Joint Commission is the gold standard for verifying medical standards and quality in terms of service and care. A final written report is expected in the coming weeks.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has designated our hospital a Blue Distinction Plus facility for maternity care, a list that includes only 20 Kansas hospitals.
  • We’ve also received multiple accreditations and accolades from professional organizations including the American College of Radiology, Becker’s Healthcare and the American Diabetes Association.
  • There were numerous individual areas in the survey where our hospital was on par with or even outperformed state and national averages, such as appropriate care for sepsis, the leading cause of hospital deaths nationwide. We were at 77% as compared to the 50% national average, thanks to a concentrated focus by Ascension hospital ministries across the country.
  • We are investing close to $5 million in facility improvements to further enhance the care we offer our community and grow our services to keep our neighbors, family and friends close to home for their care. Those include replacing boiler/cooling systems, upgrades to our telecommunications and IT systems, adding a new cardiac catherization and diagnostic imaging lab, cardiac rehab gym and in the past 18 months, purchased two new surgical robots and new therapy and rehabilitation equipment to help patients get back to their lives quicker.
  • Although achieving a five-star rating is an accomplishment worth recognizing, comparing the rating of a full-service community hospital that offers a full range of services to a specialty surgical hospital is not an apples-to-apples comparison. We are here 24/7 to care for all members of our community, both those with the resources to pay for their treatment and those who do not. Private, for-profit specialty hospitals offer a narrow range of surgical care provided to a select group of patients during select hours of operation.
  • Each year, we provide a significant amount of community benefit (including charity care, free services and patient assistance) – approximately $7 million last fiscal year – to our community’s most vulnerable. That’s because it is our mission, along with that of our other Ascension colleagues across the country, to ensure access to quality care as close to home as possible.

We are open to hearing our community members’ thoughts and concerns and encourage patients and families to let their nurse, nursing unit supervisor or a member of the leadership team know of any issues so they can be addressed at the time.

In conclusion, we’re proud of our nearly 500 associates and 120-plus-member medical staff and their commitment to continuous improvement and ensuring access to safe, quality care provided in a compassionate manner. We think our community should be, too.



About Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Ascension Via Christi in Fort Scott and Wamego Health Center. She is a proud wife and mom and loves cooking, camping and spending time outdoors, her dogs and reading.