Susquehanna Health's Williamsport Regional Medical Center has achieved status as being among the nation's top hospitals in areas of quality of care and value.
The designation of Best in Value and Top 100 Hospital by Data Advantage, a privately held health care information company, is based on government data considered for more than 4,500 hospitals, according to John Morrow, senior consultant.
"It's more about the clinical process of care that occurs in an institution while the patient is there," he said.
In considering quality, affordability, efficiency and patient satisfaction, the hospital ranked 26th in the nation for delivering health care at an extraordinary value, according to Morrow.
It also achieved Best in State and Best in Region status.
Susquehanna Health President and CEO Steven P. Johnson said bringing about quality care is no accident as hospital staff works hard to implement best practices.
"We make a lot of this stuff look very easy," he said. "(But) we do it every day. We are blessed with very talented people."
Johnson credited organization and top personnel who bring compassion to their jobs.
Health system spokeswoman Tracie Witter said the study included assessments of infection rates and treatment of heart attacks, two areas in which the hospital has managed outstanding outcomes.
Morrow said the hospital's noteworthy achievement positions it to deal with expected drastic changes from recently passed federal health care legislation.
"Hospitals will be challenged to still meet needs. Hospitals will have to be more efficient," he said. "If you are not doing well now, you will probably have problems."
Dr. George Manchester, chief medical officer, ticked off a host of areas including patient care, safety and risk management in which hospital staff and management worked hard to improve.
He said catheter lab personnel set the bar high in caring for heart attack patients.
While the national standard is 90 minutes from the time a patient arrives in the emergency room until the artery of that patient is opened, Williamsport staff strives for meeting a goal of just 60 minutes.
Manchester also said rates for mortality and numbers of readmissions have dropped. In fact, readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia have been significantly lower than national averages.
The hospital's use of electronic medical records allows for better patient care and more updated information, Manchester noted.
In addition, a computerized physician order entry system eliminates the risk of physician handwriting errors.