Published On: Wed, Jun 30th, 2010

Emergency care at BRCH rated in top 5 percent of hospitals nationally

BOCA RATON – Boca Raton Community Hospital’s emergency medicine care has been found to be among the top 5 percent in the nation, according to a new study released by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings organization.

As a result, BRCH has received the HealthGrades 2010 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award™.

Of the 4,900 hospitals examined for their mortality rates in 11 of the most common conditions for Medicare patients associated with emergency medicine, only 255 received this award.

As a group, Boca Raton Community Hospital and the other award recipients had a 39 percent 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.

“Boca Raton Community Hospital diagnoses and treats more than 42,000 emergency patients a year,” said Jerry J. Fedele, president and CEO at Boca Raton Community Hospital. “We are proud to be the recipient of HealthGrades 2010 Emergency Medicine Excellence Award. It is testimony to our long-standing tradition of providing our community superior emergency medicine.”

The latest accolade adds to a growing list of honors. HealthGrades ranked BRCH in the top 5 percent nationally, earning it the 2010 Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence. The hospital was ranked #1 in Florida for cardiac surgery, #2 in Florida for the treatment of stroke, #3 in Florida for overall cardiac services and #1 in Florida for gastrointestinal medical treatment. In addition, the hospital received the 2010-2011 HealthGrades Women’s Health Excellence Award.

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

Hospitals in the top 5 percent improved their patient outcomes in these 11 conditions, 16 percent during the time period studied, compared with a 1 percent improvement for all other hospitals in the U.S.

“With the CDC showing that 50 percent of hospital admissions are now beginning with emergency rooms visits, it’s more important than ever for hospitals to reach the level of excellence achieved by those in the top 5 percent 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 percent hospital in emergency medicine should feel extremely confident that, should an emergency arise, they will receive top-notch care.”

Boca Raton Community Hospital has instituted a number of technologies and services that are keeping the hospital in the vanguard of emergency medicine, officials said.

The Hospital’s Lifenet Bluetooth cellular technology sends real-time 12-lead snapshots of the heart and its functions from the EMS field to the Emergency Department allowing doctors to evaluate the heart prior to the patient’s arrival.

The Emergency Department meets the American Heart Association’s 60 to 90 minutes door-to-balloon time in more than 75 percent of heart attack patients. Fewer than one-third of hospitals meet this goal.

And recently, the hospital’s new state-of-the-art Wellsoft patient electronic medical records system was implemented in the Emergency Department for more efficient order entry and patient charting. The hospital is also a designated primary stroke center.

The complete study and full methodology are available for download at

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