West Jefferson Medical Center Rated 4-Stars For Patient Experience, Recognized For ‘Excellent’ Heart Failure Care

MARRERO, LA – West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) announced it, once again, received a 4-star overall summary rating through the new star rating system of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

         In 2015, CMS released its first ever hospital star ratings system on Hospital Compare, the agency’s public information website. The ratings are intended by the agency to make it easier for consumers to choose a hospital and understand the quality care being provided. CMS said these ratings are designed to help hospitals deliver better care, spend health care dollars more wisely and result in healthier people.

         The Hospital Compare star ratings relate to patients’ experience of care at some 3,500 Medicare-certified acute care hospitals. The ratings are based on data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) measures that are included in Hospital Compare. According to HCAHPS, only 31% of hospitals received a 4-star rating.

         “Our physicians, nurses, and staff are focused on creating a patient-centered health care experience for the community we serve,” said Nancy R. Cassagne, CEO of WJMC. “We consistently strive to provide safe, compassionate care and this ranking is a reflection of our hospital family’s hard work and dedication. We are proud to be a community hospital that provides excellent care well above the national average.”

         The HCAHPS data has been in use since 2006 to measure patients’ perspectives of hospital care, across many areas of the organization including:


• How well nurses and doctors communicated with patients

• How responsive hospital staff were to patient needs

• How clean and quiet hospital environments were, and

• How well patients were prepared for post-hospital settings.


         Consumers can find 12 HCAHPS Star Ratings on Hospital Compare, one for each of the 11 publicly reported HCAHPS measures, plus a summary star rating that combines or rolls up all the HCAHPS Star Ratings. These star ratings will be updated each quarter.

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         WJMC also received the Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure Gold Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/ American College of Cardiology Foundation’s secondary prevention guidelines for patients with heart failure.

         Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure is a quality improvement program that helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing hospital readmissions for heart failure patients. Launched in 2005, numerous published studies have demonstrated the program’s success in achieving patient outcome improvements, including reductions in 30-day readmissions.

         WJMC earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the patient, proper use of medications and aggressive risk-reduction therapies. These would include ACE inhibitors/ ARBs, beta-blockers, diuretics, anticoagulants and other appropriate therapies. Before patients are discharged, they also receive education on managing their heart failure and overall health, get a follow-up visit scheduled, as well as other care transition interventions.

         “West Jefferson is dedicated to improving the quality of care for our heart failure patients. By implementing the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Heart Failure program, we are able to track and measure our success in meeting internationally-respected guidelines,” said WJMC CEO Cassagne.

         “We are pleased to recognize West Jefferson for their commitment to heart failure care,” said Paul Heidenreich, M.D., M.S., national chairman of the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee and Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. “Research has shown there are benefits to patients who are treated at hospitals that have adopted the Get With The Guidelines program. Get With the Guidelines research has demonstrated the impact of lowering 30-day readmissions and reducing mortality rates.”

         According to the American Heart Association, about 5.7 million adults in the United States suffer from heart failure, with the number expected to rise to eight million by 2030. Statistics show that each year about 870,000 new cases are diagnosed and about 50 percent of those diagnosed will die within five years. However, many heart failure patients can lead a full, enjoyable life when their condition is managed with proper medications or devices and with healthy lifestyle changes.

         Founded in 1956, WJMC is a 435-bed full service medical center offering comprehensive programs for preventive, emergency, acute and rehabilitative care with a medical staff of more than 400 physicians and a complement of 1,700 employees and many volunteers.

         The medical center enjoys national awards for clinical excellence across many of its subspecialties.

         WJMC is a proud member of LCMC Health, a Louisiana-based, not-for-profit hospital system serving the healthcare needs of the Gulf Coast region. LCMC Health currently manages award-winning community hospitals including Children’s Hospital, Touro, New Orleans East Hospital, University Medical Center New Orleans and WJMC.

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