Five New Jersey hospitals have been named among the nation’s best for emergency care by HealthGrades, an independent hospital and healthcare rating firm.
The agency ranked the top five percent of all hospitals nationwide, by analyzing over seven million Medicare patient records from 2007 to 2009, focusing specifically on 12 of the most common and life-threatening medical emergencies, including heart attack, sepsis, stroke, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The five New Jersey hospitals that were among 268 cited by HealthGrades were Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Clara Mass Medical Center in Belleville, Community Medical Center in Toms River, Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, and Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch.
RWJ-Hamilton, Community Medical Center and Monmouth Medical Center received the distinction in 2010 as well. In February, Hackensack University Medical Center and Community Medical Center were named among the nation’s top 50 hospitals.
“In the case of a medical emergency, patients need to get to the closest emergency room as fast as possible. No exceptions,” said Dr. Rick May, study co-author and HealthGrades Vice President of clinical quality services. “That said, we encourage patients to prepare in advance by identifying top-performing hospitals close to home. Our research shows that it’s not just the care you receive the moment you arrive that makes the difference between life and death, but the hospital’s ability to continue to provide you with the right care at the right time if you need to be admitted.”
The study found that patients treated at emergency rooms in the top 5% had a 40% lower risk of death compared to patients treated at hospitals that were not in the top echelon. The lower death rate means that if all hospitals performed at the level of the top hospitals from 2007 through 2009, an additional 160,668 people could have potentially survived their emergency hospitalization.