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How RI Hospitals Ranked: NE’s Best Hospitals Rated By Patients

Monday, January 07, 2013


South County Hospital is the #1 hospital in Rhode Island based on patients' ratings, and the #18 hospital in New England. Photo: South County Hospital.

What's the best hospital in Rhode Island, according to its patients? GoLocal’s analysis of more than 50,000 government-sponsored patient surveys of 176 hospitals in New England has the answer. The #1 hospital in Rhode Island also placed in the Top 20 in New England--South County Hospital. See how the rest of Rhode Island's hospitals placed, below.

For a look at New England’s Top 20 hospitals, go here.

For a look at all 176 hospitals and how they ranked, go here.

#1 in RI: South County Hospital

Topping the Rhode Island hospitals is Wakefield’s South County Hospital.  Ranked #18 in New England, the facility has continued to provide excellent care despite facing a harsh statewide economic climate.

“Quality is a primary focus for us,” said Barbara Seagrave, Vice President of Patient Care Services at South County Hospital.  “Regardless of what is going on financially, we have all agreed that we will never implement anything that would impact quality of patient care in a negative way.  Even times of expense reduction or elimination of cost initiatives cannot impact the quality of care we provide.”

South County Hospital has more than made do with its available resources.  Of the patients polled, 83% gave the facility a score of nine or ten, 76% said they received help as soon as they wanted, and 84% reported the nurses always communicated well.  The 100-bed hospital has worked to develop a culture of excellence and staff members take great pride in their work.

Named the The #2 hospital in Rhode Island based on patient ratings is Women & Infants Hospital, which 85% of patients polled said they would recommend to others. Photo: Women & Infants Hospital.

“I’ve been at South County for ten years,” said Seagrave.  “I’ve watched us build this culture of quality, patient safety and patient satisfaction.  The staff and their leaders are key to making it work and our staff is phenomenal.  When the staff loves what they do, it shows in the care that they provide.”

No Strangers To Success

South County Hospital has grown accustomed to high praise.  According to Seagrave, prior to the HCAHPS Survey, which was used to compile the rankings, South County used the Press Ganey survey to gauge how satisfied their patients were with the quality of care.  Seagrave says the hospital has been ranked first in the state for three straight years and in the top 5% nationally for the past 30 months.

Much of that success, Seagrave contends, can be attributed to a high level of communication between nurses. “Communication with nurses in one of the priorities for us,” said Seagrave.  “This allows patients to be directly involved in their care and be better informed about the plan of care going forward.”

Seagrave’s suggestion for the hospitals success is completely in line with traits of other hospitals that excelled in the survey.  Susan Edgman-Levitan, one of the developers of HCAHPS and Director for the Stoeckle Center For Primary Care Innovation at Mass General in Boston, says there is a strong correlation between a patient rating a hospital highly and experiencing strong communication with its nursing staff.

“When you think about it, how you do in the hospital and the kind of care you receive from the nursing staff is critical so it’s not a surprise that the nursing items are most strongly correlated,” said Edgman-Levitan, during an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine.  “And we also think that some of the nursing items are a proxy for teamwork.”

Rhode Island's Hospitals

The Miriam Hospital on Providence's East Side was named the #3 hospital in Rhode Island based on patient ratings. Photo: The Miriam Hospital.

Rhode Island hospitals occupied four of the top 100 spots in New England. Here’s how they rank.

#2 in RI: Women and Infant’s Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence

New England ranking: #29 
Best ratings: Of the patients polled, 85% said they would definitely recommend the hospital and 74% said their rooms were always clean.

#3 in RI: Miriam Hospital, Providence

New England ranking: #66
Best ratings: Of those who participated in the survey, 83% said doctors always communicated well and 79% gave the hospital a rating of nine or ten.  

#4 in RI: Newport Hospital, Newport

New England ranking: #82
Best ratings: Of the pool of respondents, 73% said their pain was always controlled and 81% reported nurses always communicated well.

Outside the Top 100

Outside of the top 100, Providence’s Roger Williams Medical Center ranked #105, Westerly Hospital settled at #121, Pawtucket’s Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island took #137, Warwick’s Kent County Memorial Hospital finished at #141, Providence’s St. Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island at #155. Providence’s Rhode Island Hospital was ranked #170, and Woonsocket’s Landmark Medical Center took up the rear at #176.


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