Whittier Hospital Medical Center Top 5% in Emergency Medicine

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HealthGrades Study of Patient Outcomes at 4,900 Hospitals
Whittier Hospital Medical Center's emergency medical care has been found to be among the top 5% in the nation, according to a new study released by HealthGrades, the U.S.'s leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

As a result, Whittier Hospital is a proud recipient of the HealthGrades 2010 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award™. The award was presented in June to hospital officials, the ER staff and many others from the community who attended a special ceremony.

Of the 4,900 hospitals examined for their mortality rates in 11 of the most common emergent conditions for Medicare patients, only 255 received this award. More notably, only 26 other hospitals in the state of California were recognized for these superior patient outcomes.

The First Annual HealthGrades Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals™ study found that as a group, Whittier and the other award recipients had a 39% lower mortality rate for the 11 conditions studied. The mortality rates were risk-adjusted so that hospitals with sicker and older patients could be compared on equal footing with other hospitals.

"With the CDC showing that 50% of hospital admissions are now beginning with hospital emergency rooms, it's more important than ever for hospitals to reach the level of excellence achieved by those in the top 5% of this study," said Rick May MD, a vice president with HealthGrades and co-author of the study. "Those living in a community with a top 5% hospital in emergency medicine should feel extremely confident that, should an emergency arise, they will receive top-notch care."

Whittier Hospital officials were excited to share the news with staff and the community. "This special recognition underscores our commitment to providing the best possible care to our community, " said Howard Ternes, chief executive officer of Whittier Hospital. "While we don't strive to win awards, this achievement is the result of a team of ER physicians, nurses, technicians and support staff who put patients first. This is a tremendous milestone for our hospital and the hundreds of staff members who work each day to improve the medical care to our residents."

Whittier Hospital's Emergency Room is staffed 24 hours a day with physicians experienced in Emergency Medicine, is American Heart Association Certified, and Approved for Pediatric Emergency Care (E.D.A.P.).

Hospitals recognized in this top tier of hospitals treating emergent conditions improved their patient outcomes in these 11 conditions by 16% over the time period studied, whereas all other hospitals is the U.S. only improved at a rate of 10% during the three year period.

The study used 5 million Medicare patient records from 2006, 2007 and 2008 to analyze mortality rates in the following eleven procedures: bowel obstruction, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetic acidosis and coma, gastrointestinal bleed, heart attack, pancreatitis, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, respiratory failure, sepsis and stroke.

Whittier Hospital Medical Center, owned and operated by AHMC Healthcare Inc., is accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Whittier Hospital Medical staff consists of approximately 500 physicians representing over 40 specialties. It has been providing health care to residents of the southeast San Gabriel Valley for more than 50 years. A culturally sensitive hospital, the 178-bed facility provides a range of services.

HealthGrades' is recognized as the nation's leading independent quality ratings organization that objectively evaluates how well hospitals are able to ensure adequate outcomes for their patients. The HealthGrades' hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates and these ratings are based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

About HealthGrades
Health Grades, Inc. (Nasdaq: HGRD) is the leading independent healthcare ratings organization, providing quality ratings, profiles and cost information on the nation's hospitals, physicians, nursing homes and prescription drugs. Millions of patients and many of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades' quality ratings, advisory services and decision-support resources. The HealthGrades Network of Web sites, including HealthGrades.com and WrongDiagnosis.com, is a top-five health property according to ComScore and is the Internet's leading destination for patients choosing providers. More information on how HealthGrades guides America to better healthcare can be found at www.healthgrades.com.

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