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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Rutland Regional Medical Center Ranked Among Nation's Best For Common Care

Nina Keck
Rutland Regional Medical Center was recently ranked among the 40 best hospitals in the country for their handling of chronic illnesses like congestive heart failure and COPD.

According to U.S. News and World Report, Rutland Regional Medical Center is among the best hospitals in the nation for providing what’s known as common care.

While many Americans are hospitalized for complex procedures, the vast majority of people need care for chronic illnesses such as lung disease or congestive heart failure, or elective surgeries such as joint replacement. In a recent survey using Medicare data, U.S. News and World Report graded 4,000 U.S. hospitals on how they handled five common issues, and Rutland Regional landed in the top 40.

The report analyzed three common surgeries — hip replacement, knee replacement and heart bypass surgery. It also analyzed two widespread chronic conditions — congestive heart failure and the lung ailment known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

U.S. News assigned each hospital up to five separate ratings, one for each procedure and condition.

Thirty-four hospitals earned the top rating in all five groups. Another six, including Rutland Regional Medical Center, were equally high achieving in all areas except heart bypass surgery, which it doesn't offer.

R.R.M.C.’s Baxter Holland says the high marks are due in part to the hospital’s data-driven approach to improving inpatient outcomes, as well as a broader, team approach aimed at supporting patients once they’re discharged.

“You can get as good care for your pneumonia, COPD, congestive heart failure total joint at Rutland Regional as you can get anywhere in the country." - Baxter Holland, Rutland Regional Medical Center

“And the only way to reduce re-admissions among chronically ill people,” says Holland, “is to focus on their care across the continuum. So a couple years ago we put together a collaborative that put together hospital physicians, case managers, local nursing homes, primary care physicians, visiting nurses and pharmacists, among others, to really look at those patients who had frequent re-admissions and figure out why they were failing.”

Holland says it’s all about making sure patients are well cared for during their hospital visit and ensuring that there’s good communication and follow-through when those patients are discharged.

“You can get as good care for your pneumonia, COPD, congestive heart failure total joint at Rutland Regional as you can get anywhere in the country. And we believe that firmly and we believe that the data shows that,” adds Holland.

U.S. News says it spent over a year analyzing more than 5 million patient records to compile the survey, which was published Wednesday.

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