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Douglas County Hospital's surgery center gets top rating from Consumer Reports

Consumer Reports recently gave a top rating to Douglas County Hospital's surgical center for surgical outcomes.

The rating is based on the percentage of the hospital's surgical patients who stayed longer than expected for their procedure or died while in the hospital. Those measures are reportedly linked to complications, which hospitals often use to measure quality of care.

In an effort to increase consumer awareness about the quality of their healthcare options, Consumer Reports used a healthcare consulting firm to analyze Medicare claims from 2009 through 2011 for patients who had a procedure done from a list of 27 common types of surgery.

Carl Vaagenes, CEO of Douglas County Hospital, noted, "This recognition is a tribute to the excellent surgical team at Douglas County Hospital, and a testament of the way our staff has embraced our mission to provide quality health care services to meet the needs of our customers and demonstrate our commitment to excellence. The creation of a safe work environment is truly a team effort, and wouldn't be possible without the support of everyone from housekeeping who maintain clean operating rooms, to sterile processing, nursing, anesthesia, and our physicians, and it is also the result of a dedicated and skilled staff who understand the importance of each step of the surgical process."

A total of 2,463 hospital across the U.S., and 49 in Minnesota, were rated.

The Surgery Center at Douglas County Hospital performs about 5,000 inpatient and outpatient surgeries per year. The 127-bed, non-profit, regional hospital is located in Alexandria. Twice, Douglas County Hospital has been named on the Nation's Top 100 Hospitals, once by Solucient in 2002 and also by Thomson Reuters in 2008.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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