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DCHS earns distinction as top rural hospital

Progress 2020

IRON MOUNTAIN — Dickinson County Healthcare System has earned a number of elite recognitions over the past year, including a Top Rural Hospital designation from the Leapfrog Group, an award that went to only 18 facilities nationwide from a pool of 2,000.

In addition to the honor from The Leapfrog Group, DCHS was listed as a 2020 Top 100 Rural and Community Hospital by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit group that rates hospitals on how well they protect patients from errors and infections, as well as the effectiveness of procedures and other care they provide. Performance across many areas of hospital care is considered in establishing the qualifications for the award, including infection rates, maternity care and the hospital’s capacity to prevent medication errors.

“We are deeply honored to be one of 18 of the nation’s best rural hospitals to be recognized,” said Chuck Nelson, CEO at DCHS. “The Top Rural Hospital designation underscores the collective commitment of our staff, physicians, and hospital leadership to the highest standards of care.”

DCHS was the only U.P. hospital to make the Chartis Center list, which is determined by the results of iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX. Based on public data, the INDEX assesses performance across eight key areas of performance, including value-based and finance-based categories.

Hospitals recognized as a Top 100 facility had one of the 100 highest overall scores among all rural and community hospitals nationally.

DCHS was also the only Upper Peninsula hospital to be recognized by The Economic Alliance for Michigan with the 2020 Maternity Care Award.

This is the second time in three years that the prenatal and birthing program at DCHS has been recognized with this award.

“Our team is honored to receive the EAM Hospital Maternity Care Award because it recognizes the comprehensive and careful care we bring to every mom throughout the process, from prenatal health to healthy and safe deliveries,” said Dr. Ellen Bianchi, obstetrician/gynecologist. “We work hard to be the very best birthing program in our community, so it’s great to be recognized as one of the best in the state.”

Created in 2018, EAM’s Maternity Care Project aims to decrease the state’s infant mortality, reduce the rate of unnecessary C-sections, and be an educational resource for new and expecting parents.

For a second consecutive scoring period, DCHS was recognized with an outstanding A rating from Leapfrog Group’s spring 2020 Hospital Patient Safety Grade.

The safety grade assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grade to all general hospitals across the country based on their performance in preventing medical errors, injuries, accidents, infections and other harms to patients in their care.

This recognition comes at an important time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact health care service around the world. “It confirms that Dickinson County Healthcare is fully prepared to handle the vast majority of local patient hospital care needs, including the safe and secure treatment of COVID-19 if cases arise,” Nelson said.

“Every physician and medical team member is committed to doing their best every day to ensure safe, high quality care for every patient,” he added. “A hospital isn’t buildings and specialized equipment — a hospital is people. Earning even one Leapfrog Award is the result of exceptional teamwork and dedication from all of our employees. Earning this recognition year after year is proof positive that our team has some of the hardest-working and committed health care professionals in the United States.”

The hospital also announced recently that its Hematology/Oncology Clinic has received re-certification by the Quality Oncology Practice initiative Certification Program, providing a three-year certification for outpatient hematology/oncology practices that meet nationally recognized standards for quality cancer care.

The clinic first achieved QOPI Certification in May 2017. In applying for recertification, the clinic again participated in a voluntary comprehensive site assessment and successfully met the standards and objectives of the QOPI Certification Program.

DCHS is a 49-bed community hospital with more than 60 active physicians that each year treats more than 160,000 patients.

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