A new quality milestone was achieved during 2011 when the total number of disease-specific certifications awarded to CHS by the Joint Commission increased to 29. This achievement places CHS among the top tier of large healthcare systems in the U.S.
The Joint Commission is the principal evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 healthcare organizations and programs throughout the county. Newly awarded certifications in 2011 included Advanced Inpatient Diabetes Management, High Risk Neonate, Heart Failure, Acute Coronary Syndrome, Total Hip Replacement, Total Knee Replacement and Maternal/Child.
The orthopedics program at CMC was recognized as one of the top 50 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Based on the same research data, three CHS Metro hospitals received top ratings in U.S. News' updated "major metro area" rankings.
Levine Children's Hospital was listed as one of America's "Best Children's Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report for nephrology, a specialty that evaluates and treats patients with kidney diseases.
U.S. News plaudits were not limited to Charlotte-area hospitals, but included a number of CHS affiliates throughout the Carolinas. AnMed Health in Anderson, SC, received high ranking scores in five specialties, including Cancer; Ear, Nose and Throat; Gastroenterology; Nephrology and Pulmonology.
Becker's Hospital Review named Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Charleston to its list of "101 Hospitals with Great Spine and Neurosurgery Programs."
Roper St. Francis Healthcare (RSFH) joined a national initiative in 2011 called "Million Hearts." This program brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. The stated goal is to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes over the next five years.
RSFH is supporting the effort through its heart program and also web-based community education initiatives, as South Carolina ranks among the top five states in the country for cardiac disease.
The Bariatric and Metabolic Services program at RSFH was recognized as a Center of Excellence during 2011 by the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery.
St. Luke's Hospital in Columbus, NC, initiated a new quality venture in 2011 by purchasing a multi-specialty medical office building to house two highly-regarded orthopedic and family medicine practices. St. Luke's also received Certificate of Need (CON) approval to build a new six-bed patient wing and rehabilitation center, allowing the introduction of new services. This was the first expansion of its type since St. Luke's affiliated with CHS in 2008.
All of these quality enhancements validate an observation made by CEO Michael C. Tarwater in an end-of-year address to CHS employees. "We are at our very best," he said, "when we work together to make a highly integrated system work even better. All of the economies of skill and scale that we can bring to bear as a team combine to produce excellent care for our patients. It's just another one of the ways that we are defining the future of healthcare."