Denial does not help the patient

Hospitals can receive drastically different outcomes from the different entities, according to Mark Valliere, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center (Aug. 6, “Hospital rankings may not tell whole story”).

Of course, he is correct. If I went to a hospital for a neurological problem, I might want to know the ranking for that procedure, for the hospital and for the physician.

The Consumer Reports article (Valliere referenced) addressed only surgery. For a procedure for which my life depended on the outcome, I might want to know that UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are equally ranked, and Mercy is ranked lower. The original Consumer Reports article, and the chart of hospitals across the United States, was clear that the ranking is only for surgery — procedures that are critical and can be life-threatening.

I would have preferred that Valliere acknowledge the lower ranking, state the specific steps that he intends to address to improve the ranking, and arrive at the standards of University of Iowa and St Luke’s. Denial does not help the patient.

University of Iowa ranks highest as a party school. University of Iowa officials took steps to address the issues, and stated so. Perhaps Valliere can learn from University of Iowa and from St Luke’s. In both cases, lives depend on the outcome.

Niles Ross

Cedar Rapids


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