Independent quality study rates Rockford Memorial Hospital among nation’s best for clinical outcomes

Rockford Memorial Hospital announced today it has received five-star ratings for clinical quality excellence in multiple services, according to a comprehensive study released by HealthGrades, the nation’s leading health care ratings company.

In the HealthGrades study, Rockford Memorial is rated best in the Rockford area for overall orthopedics and spinal surgery. Rockford Memorial is also rated among the five best hospitals in Illinois for spinal surgery, receiving a five-star rating for fusion procedures.

In pulmonary services, Rockford Memorial is rated as the best hospital in Rockford, with five-star ratings for treatment of community-acquired pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rockford Memorial is also rated best in Rockford for critical care (five-star rated for treatment of sepsis) and gastrointestinal care (five-star rated for treatment of bowel obstruction and pancreatitis).

“We’re committed to handling the most challenging, difficult cases,” says Gary Kaatz, president and CEO of Rockford Health System. “Top ratings in these important clinical areas from an independent research firm such as HealthGrades demonstrate the quality care our physicians, nurses and staff are committed toward providing the residents of the Rock River Valley.”

As part of its ninth annual Hospital Quality in America Study, HealthGrades independently analyzed more than 5,000 hospitals in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for its 2007 ratings, objectively assessing their clinical outcomes and quality. The 40 million hospitalization records utilized in the assessment are publicly available and licensed from the federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The HealthGrades ratings take into account varying degrees of patient severity from hospital to hospital and measure whether patient outcomes for each of more than two dozen procedures and diagnoses are better than expected (5-Star), as expected (3-Star) or worse than expected (1-Star).

“HealthGrades objectively assesses and rates hospital performance in order to help consumers make better and more informed health care choices,” explained Samantha Collier, M.D., HealthGrades vice president of medical affairs. “With consumers having a greater stake in their health care purchasing decisions, it’s important for them to know that there is a tremendous difference in clinical quality outcomes between hospitals.”

“In northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, Rockford Memorial Hospital stands out notably in terms of delivering quality care for its patients,” Collier added. “Patients, families and employers here truly have access to health care that is among the best in the nation.”

The 2007 HealthGrades ratings for all hospitals nationwide are available, free of charge, on the organization’s award-winning consumer Web site, located at More than 3 million individuals and employees of 125 major employers and health plans visit HealthGrades each month to access quality information about hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. HealthGrades also provides consumers and payers with detailed assessments of hospitals’ patient-safety outcomes, based on indicators developed by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Rockford Memorial Hospital

For more than 120 years, Rockford Memorial Hospital has served the Rock River Valley community. Over that time, the hospital has earned a reputation as the leading provider when care is most critical. Rockford Memorial Hospital’s centers of excellence include trauma, surgery, heart and vascular, neurosurgery, and women’s and children’s services.

About HealthGrades

HealthGrades (Nasdaq:HGRD) is the leading health care ratings company, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians to consumers, corporations, health plans and hospitals. Millions of consumers and hundreds of the nation’s largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades’ independent ratings to make health care decisions based on the quality of care. More information about the company can be found at

From the Oct. 25-31, 2006, issue

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