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KDMC Receives Clinical Excellence Awards

King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC) today announced that it has received a five-star rating for treatment of respiratory failure and pneumonia, according to HealthGrades, the nation’s leading independent ratings company. In addition, for the third consecutive year KDMC ranked among the top five percent in the nation for cardiac surgery.

These findings were included in the eleventh annual HealthGrades Hospital Quality in America Study, which is the most comprehensive study of its kind, analyzing more than 41 million Medicare hospitalization records from 2005 to 2007 at the nation’s approximately 5,000 non-federal hospitals.

KDMC’s 2009 HealthGrades clinical achievements include:

  • Ranked Among the Top 5 in KY for Cardiac Surgery
  • Five-Star Rated for Cardiac Surgery
  • Five-Star Rated for Coronary Bypass Surgery
  • Five-Star Rated for Valve Replacement Surgery
  • Five-Star Rated for Treatment of Heart Failure
  • Five-Star Rated for Treatment of Respiratory Failure and Pneumonia

Cardiac Surgeons 2008-10Three cardiothoracic surgeons practice at KDMC, including Robert Fried, M.D., Richard Heuer, M.D., and Marcos Nores, M.D.

“I am proud to say that for the third consecutive year, King’s Daughters’ cardiac surgery program has earned the impressive five-star rating,” said KDMC President/CEO Fred Jackson. “What is important here is consistency. This is a very strong program that continues to gain momentum,” he said.

“Furthermore, the recognition of our critical care team was earned by hard work and exceptional patient care by those tending to our most critically ill patients, recognizing a team that works on the edge of life and death every day. The terms ‘intensive’ and ‘critical’ are attached to these areas for a good reason,” Jackson said.

Pulmonologists 2008-10KDMC pulmonologists/intensivists include: Mohamad Abul-Khoudoud, M.D.; Iyad Asaad, M.D.; Mehdi Khosravi, M.D.; Diego Maldonado, M.D.; Scott Nelson, M.D.; Gregory Stark, M.D.; Bjorn Thorarinsson, M.D.

Intensivists are physicians with advanced critical care board certification who specialize in treating the most seriously ill or injured patients. KDMC began its intensivist program four years ago, under the leadership of Scott Nelson, M.D. Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have shown patients whose ICU care is managed by an intensivist achieve more successful clinical outcomes and recover more quickly.

King’s Daughters goes above and beyond the traditional standard of care by having one of its seven critical care physicians (intensivists) working full time in the ICU in conjunction with a critical care team, Jackson added. “They work seven days straight, focused just on the ICU patients, and do not schedule office patients or do patient rounds. Very few hospitals across the country have this kind of commitment from their intensivists,” he said.

“At King’s Daughters, we believe in reward and recognition of our staff,” Jackson said. “The awards are fun and exciting, but what is truly important is the people behind the awards and the difference they make for patients and families.”

According to the HealthGrades study, if all hospitals performed at the level of five-star rated hospitals, 237,420 Medicare deaths could potentially have been prevented over the three years studied. More than half of those preventable deaths were associated with four conditions: sepsis, pneumonia, heart failure and respiratory failure.

While overall death rates declined from 2005 to 2007, the nation’s best-performing hospitals were able to reduce preventable deaths at a much faster rate than poor-performing hospitals, resulting in large state, regional and hospital-to-hospital variations in the quality of patient care, the study found.

HealthGrades today made available its 2009 quality ratings for virtually every hospital in the country at, a Web site designed to help individuals research and compare local healthcare providers.

On its Web site, HealthGrades offers, free to consumers, quality ratings of 27 procedures and treatments. The Web site is designed so that consumers can easily compare patient outcomes at their local hospitals for procedures ranging from aortic aneurysm repair to bypass surgery. Each hospital receives a star rating based on its patient outcomes in terms of mortality or complication rates for each procedure or treatment. Hospitals with outcomes that are above average to a statistically significant degree receive a five-star rating. Hospitals with average outcomes receive a three-star rating, and hospitals with outcomes that are below average receive a one-star rating. Because no two hospitals or their patients’ risk profiles are alike, HealthGrades employs extensive risk-adjustment algorithms to ensure that it is making analogous comparisons.

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