Tyrone Hospital receives mixed ratings in annual performance report

Tyrone Hospital received a higher than expected mortality rating in one of 28 diagnoses and procedures listed in the latest hospital performance report published by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council. The report was released earlier this week.
Researchers analyzed re-admission data from 18 of the treatment categories. The report includes risk-adjusted mortality rates, lengths of hospitalizations, readmission rates and hospital charges for patients admitted to 168 Pennsylvania hospitals between Oct. 1, 2001 through Sept. 30, 2002.
In a news release, Marc P. Volavka, executive director for the PHC4 said, “clearly there is work to be done in these critical patient safety areas like complications and infection.”
Volavka went on to say “it is important to note mortality rates in Pennsylvania hospital have dropped below national averages in recent years, so quality of care remains high in many areas.”
Tyrone Hospital received the higher than expected mortality rating in the “Septicemia” category. The report indicated the hospital had five or fewer of these type of cases and was not rated in terms of length of stay.
“All mortality cases are reviewed by a different doctor” said Tammy Emigh, the Director of Quality Improvement at Tyrone Hospital. Emigh told the Daily Herald. “All such cases are reviewed by a staff committee.”
Tyrone Hospital was above the state and regional average in the “length of stay” category in eight of the 28 diagnoses and procedures in the report. The hospital was below average in five areas and around the state and regional averages in two of the listed diagnoses and procedures. The hospital received no rating in the “length of stay” category in many areas because they had five or fewer cases in those areas.
Of note in the “re-admissions” category was in the area of poisonings and the toxic effects of drugs. Tyrone Hospital had a readmission rate of 21.6 percent, which was more than three times the rate for all hospitals in western Pennsylvania. The rate statewide was 7.9 percent. The re-admissions rates applied to patients readmitted for any reason.
In terms of average cost per case, Tyrone Hospital was below the western Pennsylvania average in 14 areas. The hospital had no rating in many areas due to five or fewer cases in those areas.
The Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council said in their release that infections and other often-preventable complications led to more than 12,000 hospital re-admissions in Pennsylvania last year. The Council claims the re-admissions cost the health care delivery system an additional $410 million in hospital charges and contributed to 93,000 extra days in the hospital. Readmission rates for complications or infection increased slightly in five of eight categories where two years of data were available. Re-admissions for any reason also increased slightly in five of eight categories where there were two years of information available. There was also wide variation of stays among hospitals. The condition with the most variation was Diabetes with Amputation.
There were only slight changes in mortality rates during the reporting period. Mortality rates decreased in five categories and increased in six categories where two years of mortality data were available.
Those interested in copies of the Hospital Performance Report along with hospital comments can go to the Council’s website at or by calling PHC4 at (717) 232-6787.