Consumer Reports ranks Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital No. 1 in California for safety

North Auburn facility ties for tops in state, score tied for fifth-best in U.S.
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Consumer Reports magazine?s August edition ranks Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital at the top of its list for safety. The North Auburn hospital tied with two others in California for the highest score in the state and was tied for the fifth-best score in the U.S., according to rankings released in Consumer Reports magazine. Rankings were based on ratings by the world?s largest independent product-testing organization on factors that include infection rates, re-admission rates after 30 days of discharge and staff communication on medications. Consumer Reports? August issue started arriving Monday with subscribers in the Auburn area and the news soon spread to hospital staff. Word first came when an Auburn resident arrived at the hospital with a copy. There was no advance warning from Consumer Reports. ?We are very excited and really happy that we are among the top hospitals in California,? said chief Nurse Executive Virgie Galindo. ?Yes, we?ll be breaking out the bubbly ? but it will be non-alcoholic.? The North Auburn hospital has a staff of about 500. Galindo said the safety rankings both statewide and nationally were due to the hospital?s physicians and staff. ?Our patients are at the center of everything,? Galindo said. ?Keeping them safe is our top priority and our focus is on the highest quality of care possible. We try to raise the bar every year.? The Consumer Reports article ?How Safe is Your Hospital?? rated hospitals for safety for the first time, ranking 1,159 hospitals across the nation. James Conforti, CEO of Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, said hospitals in the region have worked together to implement practices and procedures to improve the safety of patients ? which have proven to be cost effective. ?Not only do these practices improve health and save lives, they lead to shorter hospital stays and lower hospital bills,? Conforti said. Dr. John Mesic, chief medical officer for Sutter Health?s Sacramento Sierra Region said that some of Sutter?s quality, safety and efficiency improvements have not only saved thousands of lives but conserved financial resources. ?Those include a reduction of nearly $200 million in health-care costs through aggressive efforts to decrease hospital-acquired infections and pressure ulcers,? Mesic said. Other Sutter Health hospitals scored well in the Consumer Reports rankings. Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital had a 68 safety score while Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, posted a score of 64. Sutter Roseville Medical Center had a 62 safety score. Those numbers also ranked near the top for hospitals surveyed in California. The report includes information from government and independent sources as well as interviews with patients, physicians, hospital administrators and safety experts. Auburn?s Fred Waters, a Sutter Auburn patient, said he felt good to hear about the ranking. The two other California hospitals with a 68 score were Bakersfield Heart Hospital and Yolo County?s Woodland Healthcare. A total of 167 California hospitals were included in the rankings. ?I certainly recognize that it?s quite a feather in the hospital?s cap, when you compare with UC Davis Medical Center, which isn?t ranked as high,? Waters said. ?They ranked it as a ?gold standard? hospital.?