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Rated Best-Orthopedic Services

St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital Rated Best in Bucks County for Overall Orthopedic Services

HealthGrades' annual study of hospital quality is most comprehensive nationwide - Patients treated at 5-star hospitals are 47 percent less likely to have complications

QUAKERTOWN, PA (October 15, 2008) – St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital today announced that it has received a top five-star rating for the quality of its orthopedic care by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings company. St. Luke's was recognized as having five-star rated services for both total hip and total knee joint replacement.

St Luke's Quakertown Hospital also received recognition by HealthGrades as being the “Best in Bucks County for Overall Orthopedic Services” and “Best in Bucks County for Joint Replacement.”

Ed Nawrocki, president, St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital, says that the rating calls attention to the expert, quality orthopedic care St. Luke's Quakertown has been quietly providing to the community for years. “I'm honored that our surgeons and staff are being recognized for their skill and commitment to our patients. This distinction comes on the heels of our announcement to open the St. Luke's Bone & Joint Institute, a building project underway because of our need for expansion. We are performing more procedures than ever before. The volume increase combined with the HealthGrades quality rating speaks for itself. I would like to publicly thank our orthopedic surgeons, nurses and support staff for providing our patients with world class care.”

As part of the nation's most comprehensive, independent analysis of hospital quality, HealthGrades found that patients treated at five-star rated hospitals for nine common procedures are 47 percent less likely to experience a major complication, such as post-operative infections or heart conditions, which can lengthen their hospital stay and increase costs. According to the study, if all Medicare patients had been treated at a top-performing hospital compared to the lowest-performing hospitals during 2005-07, more than 123,000 major complications potentially could have been avoided.

In 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that funds medical and surgical care for the majority of hospital patients, announced that it would discontinue payments for many major inhospital complications, including surgery on the wrong body part and post-operative infection or disability due to a contaminated implantation device.

According to Zigmund Strzelecki, MD, of Quakertown Orthopedic Associates and Chief of Surgery at St. Luke's Quakertown, “At St. Luke's our orthopedic team has made an unwavering commitment to providing only the very best and proven techniques in hip and knee joint replacement surgery. It takes ongoing, meticulous attention to detail as well as a dedicated and caring staff to ensure successful hip and knee joint replacements with the least amount of complication. It's terrific that our success has been recognized independently by HealthGrades and the community is well assured that local treatment at St. Luke's Quakertown is the best available.”

In developing its 2009 health care quality ratings, released today, HealthGrades analyzed more than 41 million Medicare hospitalization records from 2005 to 2007 at the nation's approximately 5,000 non-federal hospitals.

Hospitals with outcomes that are above average to a statistically significant degree receive a five-star rating. Hospitals with average outcomes receive a three-star rating, and hospitals with outcomes that are below average receive a one-star rating. Because no two hospitals or their patients' risk profiles are alike, HealthGrades employs extensive risk-adjustment algorithms to ensure that it is making analogous comparisons.

On its web site, healthgrades.com, HealthGrades offers consumers free quality ratings of 26 procedures and treatments. The Web site is designed so that consumers can easily compare patient outcomes at their local hospitals for procedures ranging from total knee surgery to cardiac bypass surgery. Each hospital receives a star rating based on its patient outcomes in terms of mortality or complication rates for each procedure or treatment. For example, complications can include hospital-acquired infections, heart and lung difficulties during or after surgery, and excessive bleeding.

St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital is a non-profit, acute-care community hospital devoted to providing patients and visitors with exceptional quality medicine, convenient access to care and outstanding service. Located in Upper Bucks County, St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital is part of the nationally recognized St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network, enabling the facility to offer a deeper breadth of specialty services provided by renowned physicians and the most advanced technology in the region. The physicians and staff members of St. Luke's Quakertown Hospital strive to make every patient experience as comfortable and convenient as possible.