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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Named Among Best Hospitals for Safety

The hospital was recognized by Consumer Reports magazine

Consumer Reports has ranked Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) among the top five New York area hospitals for patient safety.

The ratings, which were released this week, are based upon four measures: hospital-acquired infections, readmission rates, communication about medications and communication about discharge planning.

“RWJUH has a strong commitment to excellence, quality and patient safety,” says Stephen K. Jones, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. “Achieving this status is a fitting tribute to the outstanding team of dedicated faculty physicians at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and community physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and employees, as well as all of the partners on our campus whose commitment to safety and patient care is second to none.”

Consumer Reports’ safety ratings of New York area hospitals are based on four key measures:

Hospital infections: This is based on data that hospitals submit to New York, New Jersey, or the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit organization that collects information about individual hospitals, on the two most common and potentially deadly hospital-acquired infections. Those include central-line-bloodstream infections, which are usually caused by a mishandling of the catheters used to deliver fluids, medication, and nutrition to patients in intensive-care units; and surgical-site infections, which are infections that occur within 30 days of certain surgical procedures or, in the case of implants, within a year. The rating reflects the worst of the two scores.

Readmissions: This is based on billing data analyzed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A hospital's readmission rating reflects the likelihood that a patient hospitalized because of heart attack, heart failure, or pneumonia will have to be readmitted to a hospital within 30 days of his or her initial discharge. The need for such readmission can indicate that a patient may have been sent home too early or wasn’t given appropriate discharge instructions or follow-up care.

Discharge instructions: The rating on discharge instructions is based on a survey, the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, that hospitals are required to ask a sample of patients and then report to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We looked at the percentage of patients who said they were given clear information before going home, such as what symptoms to watch out for and what kind of medical help they might need once they got home. Such steps can reduce the risk of readmissions.

Medication instructions: The rating on medication instructions is based on the same survey as for discharge instructions. We looked at the percentage of patients who said they were told the purpose of the drugs they were prescribed while in the hospital and the possible side effects. Poor communication can increase the risk of drug errors, one of the most common causes of mistakes in the hospital.

To learn more about RWJUH, please visit www.rwjuh.edu.

-Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

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