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Salem Hospital receives Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence, named among top 5 percent of hospitals in nation

Feb 05, 2014

Healthgrades has announced that Salem Hospital has received the 2014 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™.

The distinction places Salem Hospital among the top 5 percent of the more than 4,500 hospitals nationwide for its clinical performance and solidifies Salem Hospital as a national leader in clinical excellence. Recipient hospitals have exhibited superior performance in clinical outcomes for patients across a broad spectrum of care and set the benchmark for clinical excellence.

“Salem Hospital is focused on providing quality care for patients,” said Leah Mitchell, vice president of Kaizen, quality and safety at Salem Health. “This recognition is evidence of the success of this effort by the entire health care team.”

Healthgrades recognition matters to the local medical community, according to Dr. Michael Hanslits, president of the Salem Hospital Medical Staff. “Any doctor you ask will tell you that he or she really cares about availability of top-notch health care in Salem. After all, we all live here with our families and friends, and we want to do the best job we can to help other people, and for our own health care.”

Mitchell noted that several years ago Salem Health adopted the Lean management system as a template for improvement projects. “Opportunities for improvement are identified and trial changes are implemented on a small scale, such as a single nursing unit, with hands-on involvement by the staff providing the care. They tweak the effort until it accomplishes the target. We use Lean tools to ensure the improvement is sustainable and then work to spread the improvement throughout the organization.”

“To further focus our efforts, we have established a Quality Operations Committee that has oversight over quality and safety, financial performance, patient satisfaction, and engagement,” said Hanslits. “The committee prioritizes improvement projects, using an organizational dashboard which compares the organization’s performance on specific quality and patient experience indicators, such as post-operative infections, to national benchmarks. The committee also focuses on national efforts that target specific problems such as readmission rates that are too high for diseases like pneumonia and congestive heart failure.”

From 2010 through 2012, Healthgrades Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence as a group had an overall 26.4 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate across 19 procedures and conditions where in-hospital mortality was the clinical outcome, compared to all other hospitals. During this same period, if all other hospitals performed at the level of Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence across these 19 procedures and conditions, 156,036 lives could potentially have been saved.

“Recipients of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence have demonstrated better than expected quality care. For patients undergoing treatment for select common conditions and procedures at these hospitals, this translates to a statistically significant lower likelihood of death or experiencing complications when compared to the rest of American hospitals,” said Evan Marks, EVP, Informatics and Strategy, Healthgrades.

In addition to receiving the Distinguished Hospital Award, Salem Hospital is also recognized by Healthgrades for excellence in many specialty areas including joint replacement, treatment of heart attacks, overall critical care, and bariatric surgery.

Salem Hospital care was so exceptional that Healthgrades ranked Salem among America’s 100 Best hospitals for critical care services and the top 15 percent in the nation for patient experience. A complete list of Salem’s accolades is included below:


  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award - Clinical Excellence™ in 2014
  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ in 2013
  • Ranked among the top 15 percent in the nation for outstanding patient experience in 2013

America\'s Best 100 Hospitals

  • One of Healthgrades America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Critical Care™ in 2014


  • Five-Star recipient for treatment of heart attack in 2014


  • Five-Star recipient for total knee replacement for five years in a row (2010-2014)
  • Five-Star recipient for total hip replacement for seven years in a row (2008-2014)


  • Five-Star recipient for treatment of pneumonia for two years in a row (2013-2014)


  • Five-Star recipient for colorectal surgeries in 2014
  • Five-Star recipient for treatment of bowel obstruction for three years in a row (2012-2014)

Critical Care

  • Recipient of the Healthgrades Critical Care Excellence Award™ in 2014
  • Ranked among the top 5 percent in the nation for critical care in 2014
  • Five-Star recipient for treatment of sepsis for five years in a row (2010-2014)
  • Five-Star recipient for treatment of pulmonary embolism in 2014
  • Five-Star Recipient for treatment of respiratory failure in 2014


  • Five-Star recipient for overall bariatric surgery in 2013

The 260 recipients of the Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ stand out nationwide for overall clinical excellence across a broad spectrum of care. During the 2014 study period (2010-2012), these hospitals showed superior performance in clinical outcomes for patients in the Medicare population across at least 21 of 30 of the most common inpatient conditions and procedures—as measured by objective performance data (risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complications). To learn more about how Healthgrades determines Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ recipients, please visit

About Healthgrades: Healthgrades is the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.

About Salem Hospital: Salem Hospital is part of Salem Health, which also includes the Regional Rehabilitation Center in Salem, West Valley Hospital in Dallas and the Willamette Health Partners clinics spread throughout the mid-Willamette Valley. Salem Health serves patients across Marion, Polk, Benton, Lincoln and Yamhill counties. Visit us at and; follow us on Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at

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