LANHAM — Doctors Community Hospital announced on March 12 that it has received a four-star rating from Hospital Compare, the highest rating of any hospital in Prince George’s County and one of the highest in the entire state of Maryland.
Doctors Community Hospital was the only hospital in Prince George’s County to receive four stars and was one of only four hospitals in the entire state to have received this rating, said Doctors Community Hospital President Phil Down.
Out of the 5,000 hospitals in the U.S., only 20 percent of them received a four-star rating while only five percent received a five-star rating.
“We’re very, very proud of this achievement and it is a testament to the way we practice medicine,” said Down.
Founded in 1975 by leading doctors in Prince George’s County, Doctors Community Health System is a network of medical and surgical hospital services in Prince George’s County and Anne Arundel County with Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham being its flagship.
There are more than a dozen hospitals in the system located in Bowie, Camp Springs, Crofton, District Heights, Greenbelt, Hyattsville, Lanham, Largo, Laurel, Riverdale and Temple Hills.
Down attributes the success of the hospital to the two basic but important principles that the hospital runs on.
The first is that the patient is at the center of everything done at Doctors Community Hospital. The goal is to provide the highest quality care possible to every patient. The second is that the hospital is a low-cost provider. Additionally, all of the doctors, nurses and medical assistants are “totally dedicated to the patients.”
“First and foremost, there is an understanding that commitment to high quality is something that everyone needs to participate in and that everyone needs to participate in and that everyone needs to be committed to,” said Chief Operating Officer Paul Grenaldo.
“We talk about it at orientation, and we talk about it when we have people start working here, in the early part of their time working the primary focus for all of us is focus on the patients and focus on the quality of the care that is being delivered.”
During the new employee orientations that Grenaldo runs, he said as soon as he says that Doctors Community Hospital is the top-rated hospital in Prince George’s County, the new employees immediately become more motivated.
“You get to see how being part of something that is really good and really positive is motivating to people.”
According to Down, Hospital Compare was created by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), the government agency that oversees Medicare across the United States. With their five-star rating system, CMS wanted to provide a way for the public to see the quality of a hospital from an objective lens.
“They wanted to attempt, and not only to attempt they’ve done an excellent job in proving a vehicle so that the public can evaluate quality at the different hospitals across the United States,” Down said. “So often you see hospitals say ‘we’re the greatest, we have the highest quality,’ but they are making that statement. What about a third-party objectively evaluating hospitals?”
CMS compiles data from every hospital in the U.S. on the outcomes at each hospital such as the outcome for a patient upon completion of care, how long they stayed, whether they had complications and whether they had to come back to the hospital.
Hospital Compare rated Doctors Community Hospital on their immense efforts to improve quality of care, said Chief Medical and Population Health Officer Sunil Madan. These efforts include gains in improving completion of care and improved reduction in readmission as well as the patient experience of care when coming to the facility.
“Honestly, I think it’s our performance in how we treat our patients,” Maden said. “ We try to deliver the highest level of care to our patients with the greatest number of services as well.”
Although Doctors Community Hospital received the highest rating in Prince George’s County, there is always room for improvement to strive for the five stars that so few hospitals in the U.S. achieve.
Madan said the hospital can always improve on its re-entry levels as well as customer service oriented care, the efficiency with the hospital being busier than usual lately and working with patients dealing with end-of-life issues, which is an issue for not only Prince George’s County, but the country.