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ED honored with Emergency Medicine Excellence Award

BY: JERRY JONES

7/22/2010 - Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Emergency Department has been rated as one of the top emergency departments in the country by HealthGrades, receiving the HealthGrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award.

Vanderbilt, along with Yale University Hospital and Cleveland Clinic Hospital were the only US News and World Report Top 20 Hospitals that were selected for the Excellence Award.

Vanderbilt was one of only three hospitals in Tennessee to rank, and one of only 255 out of more than 4,500 emergency departments across the country to receive the award.

The best performing hospitals, like Vanderbilt, have combined rates of mortality low enough to place them in the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation for emergency medicine.

Corey Slovis, M.D., chair of Emergency Medicine, said that while the HealthGrades award was focused on outcomes in the Emergency Department, it also reflected on the overall care and treatment patients will see at Vanderbilt.

“The care of the sickest patients may begin in the Emergency Department, but outcomes are ultimately driven by the expertise of the many inpatient areas and intensive care units where our patients end up,” Slovis said. “This award is really recognition of the high quality of care that all of VUMC provides to very ill and complex patients.”

To develop the top list of ED's, HealthGrades analyzed Medicare data of more than 5 million patient records for emergency department admissions from 2006 through 2008 for 11 diagnoses.

To be eligible for the Emergency Medicine Excellence Award, a hospital must have a rating in a minimum of nine of the 11 cohorts.

In 2009, Vanderbilt's emergency departments saw more than 102,000 patients.

“Even though we have been overwhelmed with volume, we are proud of the quality of care our Emergency Department team delivers,” Slovis said. “The success of the Emergency Department has been based on both the expertise of the physicians and nurses but also because of our focus on teamwork.”

The 2010-11 HealthGrades Emergency Medicine in American Hospitals Study also found that a typical patient is 40 percent less likely to die during an emergency hospitalization at a top-performing hospital than all other hospitals.

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