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Community letter from David Spillers, CEO

Dear Community Friend,

The early arrival of winter is an important reminder that the flu season will soon follow. Last year was one of the worst on record for the incidence of flu among every age group, especially children and seniors. Huntsville Hospital understands the health threat flu presents for you, your family and our community. Immunization of our staff is a top priority for their protection and our patients. We encourage you to take the flu shot yearly.

Patient safety and clinical quality go hand in hand at Huntsville Hospital Health System. We are continuously working to deliver better care to our patients with best practice standards from across the nation. Reducing the incidence of infections, such as Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI) and Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI), is critically important for all hospitals. While we’re pleased that our infection rates are below national and state averages, we must continue our efforts to reduce and eliminate health care acquired infections.

There are many national organizations that measure and report on hospital quality. Some of these organizations define quality in different ways and provide data for different time periods often making it difficult and confusing for the health care consumer. At Huntsville Hospital Health System, we use all available data to help us evaluate and make improvements. Although we cannot participate in every measurement process that is available, we use a wide variety of sources to provide a true picture of how we compare to best practice standards. These organizations include the Joint Commission which regularly conducts on site reviews of our entire operation; Blue Cross Blue Shield, the primary insurer in our state; and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). We also benchmark our quality performance with medical professional organizations, such as the American College of Cardiology, Vermont Oxford Network (neonatology), and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Earlier this year we began a three-year initiative with Healthcare Performance Improvement (HPI), a leading organization that assists hospitals in quality improvement and patient safety. HPI incorporates best practice from aviation, nuclear power and naval operations and integrates them into hospital patient care. The engagement with HPI reflects our desire to be transparent and progressive in doing everything we can to give you and your family better care. We will continue to look at every aspect of our operations and make the necessary changes to produce a safer and higher quality of care. We will keep you updated on this exciting engagement.

At the same time, we also want to share what others are saying about our hospital care. Just recently, Healthgrades, a leading national consumer ratings organization, included Huntsville Hospital in America’s Top 50 Hospitals for Cardiac Surgery for 2018-19, as well as America’s Top 100 Hospitals for Spine Surgery. Healthgrades also rated our Knee Replacement program as Five Star, its highest rating. Additionally, U.S. News & World Report named Huntsville Hospital as the number 2 hospital in Alabama.

We’re proud of these recognitions of our quality and we hope that you are too. Huntsville Hospital is your community hospital and we pledge to keep our focus on improving our care and service for you and your family. Have a happy and safe holiday season.


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