HOUSTON (July 30, 2009)

All nine Memorial Hermann acute care hospitals have received the Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Award from the TMF Health Quality Institute. The award honors Texas hospitals that are performing quality initiatives aimed at improving outcomes in patient care based on specific national quality measures. Earlier this year, the Memorial Hermann system was the first and only hospital system in Houston to receive the prestigious National Quality Healthcare Award from the National Quality Forum in Washington, D.C.

The Memorial Hermann hospitals recognized by the TMF include:

The awards acknowledge hospitals for improving care related to acute myocardial infarction or AMI (heart attack), heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care. These clinical areas have been designated as national health care priorities by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and The Joint Commission, an independent nonprofit, standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.

They also recognize hospitals that are active in quality improvement and have made the required improvement on a composite scoring system, called the Appropriate Care Measure (ACM). For acute care hospitals, the ACM consists of 24 quality indicators: eight AMI, four heart failure, seven pneumonia and five surgical care measures. Critical access hospitals used an ACM score based on 11 quality indicators: four heart failure and seven pneumonia measures.

These CMS/Joint Commission priority areas were targeted because they measure care for common, serious health conditions that affect all adult patients. The quality measures-such as an initial antibiotic dose within four hours of admission for patients with pneumonia-are designed to ensure hospitals provide care consistent with current medical guidelines.

"To achieve this recognition, we had to demonstrate significant improvement across several national quality measures. Our success illustrates our commitment to patient safety and to delivering quality health care," said Dan Wolterman, Memorial Hermann Healthcare System CEO.

Out of 227 participating Texas hospitals, 27 met the criteria and were presented with the Texas Health Care Quality Improvement Award of Excellence, including Memorial Hermann Northwest and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands. Sixty-six were presented with the Quality Improvement Achievement Award. Hospitals receiving these awards will be recognized at a special ceremony in Austin on August 27."

As a nonprofit consulting company focused on promoting quality health and health care, TMF is proud to recognize these hospitals for promoting quality improvement activities and their senior management for promoting a quality culture," said Tom Manley, CEO of TMF Health Quality Institute. "Quality improvement is a complex and demanding process and we thank Memorial Hermann for their commitment to improving the health of Texans and the efficiency of health care in our state.

"To earn the Award of Excellence, a hospital had to achieve or maintain performance between 90 and 100 percent on the Appropriate Care Measure and to have met all other awards requirements. These included passing validation of three quarters of data (quarters 1-3, 2008), having mortality scores within the projected range and submitting the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) data. (Data for mortality rates and HCAHPS are not available for critical access hospitals and, therefore, were not part of the awards criteria for these hospitals.)

TMF established the awards program in partnership with The Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association, Texas Organization of Rural & Community Hospitals and Texas Osteopathic Medical Association.