Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

August 9, 2013

Editorial: Munson needs to address findings

If anything certain came out of Consumer Reports’ first effort to compare how surgical patients fare in 2,400 U.S. hospitals — in which Munson Medical Center was given its lowest rating — it’s that Munson must address the amount of time patients spend in the hospital.

The study also pointed out the need for more comprehensive and more standardized data used for such comparisons. While the hospital got a “worst” rating in surgery, it was said to the the best in the state in other categories — a mixed message at best.

Length of stay is a familiar issue.

Munson has been named a “Top 100” hospital every year since 2004 and 14 times in 20 years, a mark reached by only two other hospitals, in a ranking published by Truven Health Analytics.

But Munson didn’t make the Top 100 this year, in part because of the length of patient stays, though Truven Analytics has a different perspective on that issue than Consumer Reports.

David McGreaham, a physician and Munson’s vice president of medical affairs, said that while “You don’t want to get people out of the hospital before they are ready,” the hospital can be “a very dangerous place to be with the potential for infections.” And longer stays can be “very expensive.”

McGreachen said Munson also faces transportation and patient follow-up “challenges” because it serves a large rural area.

Munson did well in other areas. While only four hospitals of 29 in Michigan earned the magazine’s “worst” rating, Consumer Reports also gave the hospital a first place in the state for patient safety. That ranking was based on infection, re-admission, complication and adverse effects data.

The “worst” rating was also based on the percentage of people who died in the hospital, but Munson officials said they found that confusing.

McGreaham said Munson’s benchmarks for mortality are at or below the expected number. “It’s very confusing,” he said. “If we look at surgical complications, we’re better than expected in the Medicare database.”

Text Only

Opinion Poll
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US