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Knowing that you will be registering in a hospital for medical treatment can make you feel very anxious. Wondering how others have fared before you can make you even more nervous.

Sparrow is offering a new, free Sparrow Smart Health portal to provide comparative information and articles that can help you make more informed decisions on where you can find quality measures to help you get the best care.

At Sparrow, we believe quality reporting serves to enhance public accountability in health care by increasing the transparency of the quality of hospital care. However, every study or measure reveals only a portion of the entire spectrum of care and service.

We hope you will find this information useful and urge you to talk to your doctor to help you, your family and your friends make your best hospital care decisions.

Ready to talk to a physician but don't have one? Call toll-free to 1.800.Sparrow (772.7769), our consumer health and information line, for free referrals.

Hospital Compare

What is Hospital Compare? – This site measures how well hospitals perform in certain core measures for patients with a variety of medical conditions or medical procedures. It also includes the results of standardized patient satisfaction surveys called HCAHPS.

Who determines Hospital Compare results? – Hospital Compare is the product of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Hospital Quality Alliance.

Why is this important? – This information is provided by a trusted source – the federal government. It represents one of the most comprehensive sites on the web for understanding the quality of care offered by hospitals.

What does this tell me about care at Sparrow? – There's a lot of data here, and as a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the community, Sparrow supports transparency options being made available to the public to enhance awareness of what hospitals are doing to improve patient care.

In general, at Hospital Compare you have access to information in three basic categories:

  • Process of care measures – These measures tell you how often a hospital adheres to certain standards care. For example, how often we provide smoking cessation counseling to patients with specific medical conditions.
  • Patient satisfaction measures – These allow you to see how patients are rating the satisfaction of their care at hospitals.
  • Outcome measures – These measures relate to mortality rates and readmission rates. Note, however, that these measure are based on complex statistical analysis of billing data.

Click here to learn more about Hospital Compare. But we are very aware that numbers can't tell the whole story about the dedication of our clinicians and the quality of our technology and facilities. You can learn a little more about the benefits and the limits of studies that use mortality rates as measures of quality by clicking on Time magazine article and this industry publication.

Nurse Magnet Recognition

What is Nurse Magnet recognition? – Nurse Magnet recognition is the nation's most prestigious honor for nursing achievement and excellence. Sparrow was recently designated as a Nurse Magnet hospital.

Who determines Nurse Magnet recognition? – The American Nurses Credentialing Center, the largest and most prominent nursing credentialing organization in the United States.

Why is this important? – Magnet status is considered the “gold standard” for nursing care in hospitals. It is achieved by only about 6 percent of hospitals nationwide.

What does this tell me about care at Sparrow? – Research indicates that Magnet hospitals produce better patient outcomes than other hospitals. Independent research also shows that Magnet hospitals consistently outperform their peers in recruiting and retaining nurses, resulting in increased stability in patient care.

Click here to learn more about Nurse Magnet.

Blue Distinction Centers

What are Blue Distinction Centers? – Blue Distinction Centers are designations awarded to medical facilities that have demonstrated expertise in providing quality health care.

Who awards Blue Distinction Center designations? – These designations are awarded by Blue Cross Blue Shield companies. Collectively, the Blue Cross Blue Shield system provides health care coverage for nearly one in three Americans.

Why is this important? – Blue Distinction helps consumers identify health care providers that excel in select procedures and conditions.

What does this tell me about care at Sparrow? – Sparrow has received the Blue Distinction Cardiac Center of Excellence designation from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, along with being a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement and a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatric Surgery.

Click here to learn more about Blue Distinction Centers.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality

What is the Michigan Health & Hospital Association's Keystone Center for Patient Safety & Quality? – The Keystone Center was created in 2003 to improve patient safety and the quality of health care delivery in Michigan. Its goal is to bring together hospitals, national and state experts and evidence-based best practices to improve patient safety, reduce cost and enhance the quality of care delivered.

Who oversees the Keystone Center? – The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for Michigan hospitals and patients.

Why is this important? – The Keystone Center's vision is for Michigan hospitals to lead the nation in patient safety and the quality of health care delivery. This initiative brings together hospitals throughout the state, providing for collaboration and expedited results.

What does this tell me about care at Sparrow? – As one of the most active members of the Keystone Center, Sparrow is committed to improving the quality of care we offer. This dedication to partnership and collaboration will help us to achieve our vision of becoming a national leader in quality and patient experience.

Click here to learn more about the Keystone Center or here to view the MHA's 2009 annual report.