Section: News

St. Joseph Hospital’s rehabilitation unit among top in country


St. Joseph Hospital’s acute inpatient rehabilitation unit has been named among the top five percent of rehabilitation units across the United States by Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a nonprofit medical rehabilitation database that manages performance data for Medicare.

Of the 813 rehabilitation units considered for the study, St. Joseph Hospital’s rehab department ranked in the 95th percentile and was therefore identified as a "Best Practice" unit, a designation that is based on performance on a number of levels, including complexity of disability and diagnosis, length of stay and discharge destination data. Previously, the hospital’s rehab unit had ranked in the top 84th percentile (2006) and 88th percentile (2007).

"This ranking shows in concrete terms what all of us at St. Joseph Hospital know and feel in our hearts," said Joe Mark, CEO of St. Joseph Health – Humboldt County. "Our inpatient rehabilitation unit is among the top in the nation and continues to improve with each and every patient that comes through our doors."

In operation for 21 years, St. Joseph Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation unit provides patient-focused rehabilitation care for individuals who have suffered a debilitating injury or illness. The goal of rehabilitation is to enable those who have experienced disabling conditions to achieve their fullest potential for recovery and to re-enter the community. St. Joseph Hospital’s rehabilitation program excels in an area that many rehabilitation units do not – returning patients to their homes as opposed to a skilled nursing facility or care home. While the national average for rehabilitation units sending patients home is 70 percent, SJH’s unit sends an average of 83 percent home – a number Jim Peaker, director of St. Joseph Hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation unit, credits to his skilled staff.

"I truly think this recognition reflects the fact that our team focuses on looking at the patient from a holistic perspective," Peaker said. "Our team is highly skilled and has a diverse background with strong depth of experience. We may not have the largest number of patients come through our program, but every one of our patients is an individual and we help them put their best foot forward to continue on with their lives. Our department truly embodies the values and the mission of St. Joseph Hospital and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange."

To evaluate performance improvement among rehabilitation units nationwide, UDSMR, which manages data for 70 percent of all acute rehabilitation units in the United States, used data based on 12 months of 2008 data, drawn from both Medicare and non-Medicare patients. The results were weighted and combined into a single composite score, and each facility was assigned a percentile rank from 0 to 100 relative to the other qualifying subscribers in UDSMR’s database.

The rankings were determined by using UDSMR’s program evaluation model (PEM), a case mix-adjusted and severity-adjusted tool that provides facilities with a composite performance score and percentile ranking drawn from nearly three-quarters of all acute rehab facilities in the country. The goal of the PEM Report Card is to recognize high-performing facilities for their delivery of quality patient care that is effective, efficient, timely, and patient-centered.

"We are pleased to present this award to St. Joseph Hospital’s acute care inpatient rehabilitation unit in recognition of the excellent care it provides to its patients," said Dr. Sam Markello, Associate Director of UDSMR. "We look forward to working with St. Joseph Hospital and the other top performing facilities across the country to improve care in all inpatient rehabilitation facilities."

About St. Joseph Hospital:
St. Joseph Hospital (SJH) is a 146-bed full-service acute care facility located in Eureka, California. Founded in 1920, SJH is the flagship hospital for what is now St. Joseph Health, an integrated health care delivery organization based in Orange, California that provides a broad range of medical services within three geographic regions – Northern California, Southern California and West Texas/Eastern New Mexico. Together with Redwood Memorial Hospital (Fortuna, Calif.), St. Joseph Hospital employs more than 1,200 and provides comprehensive health care services to the greater Humboldt County region. In 2008, SJH and RMH provided more than $18.5 million in community benefit and care for the poor services, as well as an additional $19 million in unpaid Medicare costs.

About United Data System:
Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR) is a division of UB Foundation Activities Inc., a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. Founded in 1988, UDSMR administers the world’s largest medical rehabilitation database, and its instruments provide the field with a common language and measurement tools for outcomes and functional assessment.

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