Area hospitals' full responses to Consumer Reports surgical ratings

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In response to Consumer Reports' ratings of hospitals based on length of stay and deaths of Medicare patients following 27 common scheduled or elective surgical procedures, area hospitals released the following responses:

Mayo Clinic Jacksonville

"Mayo Clinic recognizes that patients look at the various rankings and surveys as a tool to measure performance. Mayo Clinic overall, has been and continues to be, highly ranked and respected in numerous reports and we use those rankings to reinforce our focus on quality, safety, service and outcomes. We strive every day to provide our patients with the highest quality medical care in the safest environment we possibly can and are pleased when our efforts are recognized. Through the hard work of our employees, Mayo Clinic continues to achieves our quality goals of reducing mortality rates and health-care associated infections, and increasing patient satisfaction. Our goal is to deliver evidence-based medicine in a safe environment with compassion, integrity and respect for our patients."

 - William Rupp, M.D., chief executive officer of Mayo Clinic in Florida

Baptist Health

"We take patient safety and clinical quality very seriously and we are committed to continuously improving the care we provide for our patients and their families. Rankings are helpful tools, but they all have limitations. For a more complete picture, it's helpful to talk to your physician or ask your family and friends for recommendations based on their past healthcare experiences. When it comes to making a health care decision, talk to the people you trust the most."

- Cindy Hamilton, director of public relations, Baptist Health

Memorial Hospital

"We think it's a wise idea for patients to educate themselves before choosing a medical provider. It's important to note that this rating is not based on clinical outcomes, it's based on billing claims.

"the second year in a row Memorial Hospital was named a Joint Commission top Performer on Key Quality Measures, a distinction received by fewer than 8% of hospitals nationwide. In addition, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons gave our heart surgery program its highest possible rating, something achieved by about 15% of hospitals nationwide."

- Adam Landau, senior marketing and communications specialist, Memorial Hospital

Putnam Community Medical Center

"Putnam Community Medical Center is committed to following best practices and delivering high quality surgical care to our community. We work hard to ensure continuous improvement on all measures of performance. This rating demonstrates that people in Putnam County can feel confident in coming to our hospital and receiving safe, quality surgical care close to home."

- Jerry Christine, CEO, Putnam Community Medical Center

Flagler Hospital St. Augustine

"There are many reports available that can paint a different picture of the strengths and weaknesses of a hospital, depending on the measures selected or how the measures are aggregated into a composite score. This Consumer Reports study, for example, places a local hospital in Palatka in the same performance category as Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

"Studies of this nature should always be viewed as one snapshot or measure of care, and should by no means be considered the only source of information when evaluating hospital performance. We encourage patients to be informed and seek information from numerous sources, including their doctor, before choosing a hospital. Patient safety and clinical excellence are central to the mission of Flagler Hospital and we are proud of our quality record, which has been recognized by numerous accrediting bodies and ratings agencies.

- Gina McLean, director of marketing & strategic planning, Flagler Hospital, Inc.