CHICAGO, IL (December 4, 2013) — Swedish Covenant Hospital was honored as one of 55 Top Urban Hospitals in the country Tuesday at the Leapfrog Group’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C. It was the only hospital in Chicago to earn what is widely considered to be the nation’s most competitive annual hospital quality award this year.
The watchdog advocacy group recognizes hospitals for delivering the highest quality care by preventing medical errors, reducing mortality for high-risk procedures, and reducing patient readmissions.
Swedish Covenant was selected as a Top Hospital out of a record number of 1,324 organizations participating in the Leapfrog Group’s annual survey. The list of honorees includes 22 Top Rural Hospitals, 55 Top Urban Hospitals, and 13 Top Children’s Hospitals.
“We believe that our ties to Chicago’s north side community and our commitment to providing only the best care for all patient populations are critical elements of our position as a Top Hospital,” said Mark Newton, Swedish Covenant Hospital CEO. “This recognition underscores the resiliency of community-based hospitals and our ability to provide the best care in the country.”
The hospital is one of the only institutions in Chicago to offer 3D mammography and the most sophisticated heart-imaging technology, Newton noted.
“The field of hospitals considered for this year’s elite Leapfrog Top Hospital distinction was more competitive than ever,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of the Leapfrog Group. “By achieving the Top Hospital accolade, Swedish Covenant Hospital has demonstrated exemplary performance across all areas of quality and patient safety that are analyzed on the Leapfrog Hospital Survey.”
According to its website, “The Leapfrog Group’s growing consortium of major companies and other large private and public healthcare purchasers provide health benefits to more than 37 million Americans in all 50 states.”
The organization’s annual hospital survey measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use, and management structures in place to prevent errors.
Several best practices instituted by Swedish Covenant Hospital’s staff were cited by Newton as helping contribute to the award. For example, a team-based approach to care contributed to a zero percent in-hospital and operative mortality rates for open-heart bypass surgery over the past two years. At the same time, 100 percent of Swedish Covenant Hospital’s open-heart patients were referred to cardiac rehabilitation.
“That’s 11 percentage points higher than the national average, thanks to a partnership with Chicago’s premier medical fitness facility, Galter LifeCenter,” Newton said.
The prestigious designation comes on the heels of Swedish Covenant Hospital’s fourth consecutive “A” hospital safety grade from the Leapfrog Group and recognition by U.S. News and World Report as “High Performing” in five specialty areas.
Swedish Covenant Hospital is operated by Covenant Ministries of Benevolence on behalf of the Evangelical Covenant Church. The hospital has served its community for more than 125 years and is responsible for a $275 million annual economic impact, with more than half of its employees living within five miles of the hospital.
Meanwhile, a majority of patients come from within the hospital’s service area, with others traveling from across the Midwest to seek expert care from a network of more than 600 physicians.
The results of the survey are posted on a website open to patients and families, the public, employers and other purchasers of healthcare.