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UMHS excels in quality report

The University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) has scored high on a new report card for Michigan hospitals, far exceeding recommended requirements for delivering complex health care.

UMHS did very well across the board in the first Michigan Health & Safety Coalition hospital survey, conducted by an independent research firm and released last week.

In six of eight categories of care, UMHS practices completely met the tough recommendations of the coalition's guidelines, earning a "four bullet" rating. In the other two categories, UMHS was at 95 percent or higher compliance with the guidelines, earning three-bullet ratings.

The survey also looked at hospital experience in seven categories of specific medical and surgical care, because research has shown that patient survival is better at hospitals that perform more than a certain number of particular procedures each year. In all seven categories, UMHS staff performed many more procedures or cared for many more patients in a year than the minimum number set by the coalition.

"We're proud that our ongoing efforts to improve quality, use proven practices and employ the best-qualified health professionals have paid off in this assessment," says Dr. Darrell Campbell, UMHS chief of clinical affairs and professor of surgery. "We feel these results reflect our overall commitment to quality."

The seven clinical areas surveyed were: open-heart surgery, percutaneous coronary interventions (angioplasty and other ways of opening clogged blood vessels near the heart), abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (to strengthen weakened areas in the largest blood vessel), carotid endarterectomy surgery (to clear blockages in blood vessels in the neck), esophagectomy surgery for cancer (to remove cancerous areas of the esophagus), treatment of low birthweight infants (who weigh less than three pounds at birth), and treatment of infants with congenital anomalies ("birth defects").

"We hope our staff will take pride in our result, and that our patients and their families will take comfort in the fact that they chose one of Michigan'sand the nation'sbest medical centers for their care," says Larry Warren, executive director of the U-M Hospitals and Health Centers.

The complete survey results are available at


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