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Published:  October 14, 2009

National Study Reports Lower Mortality Rate at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital

The 12th Annual HealthGrades Quality in America study ranked St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital number one in Texas for Critical Care, General Surgery and Gastrointestinal Care. The comprehensive annual study, by the leading independent healthcare ratings organization HealthGrades, also ranked St. Luke’s in the top ten percent nationally in cardiology, vascular, stroke, critical care, pulmonary and gastrointestinal care.

HealthGrades’ hospital ratings and awards reflect the track record of patient outcomes at hospitals in the form of mortality and complication rates. HealthGrades rates hospitals independently based on data that hospitals submit to the federal government. No hospital can opt in or out of being rated, and no hospital pays to be rated.

“In addition to the advanced technology we offer, our skilled clinicians deliver compassionate care in a way that results in superior outcomes,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, DrPH, chief executive officer, St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, and senior vice president, St. Luke's Episcopal Health System, “St. Luke’s team members work together to create an optimal care environment.”

The HealthGrades study assesses patient outcomes—mortality and complication rates—at approximately 5,000 nonfederal hospitals nationwide on an annual basis. According to the 2009 study results, top-rated hospitals experienced a 52 percent lower mortality rate than the U.S. national average that reviewed patient outcomes from 17 procedures and diagnoses ranging from bypass surgery to treatment for heart attack. In comparison to the poorest performers, there was an even greater difference—72 percent lower mortality rate.

For 28 procedures and treatments, HealthGrades issues star ratings that reflect the mortality and complication rates for each category of care. Hospitals receiving a five-star rating have mortality or complication rates that are below the national average to a statistically significant degree. A three-star rating means the hospital performs as expected. One-star ratings indicate the hospital’s mortality or complication rates in that procedure or treatment are statistically higher than average. Since the risk profiles of patient populations at hospitals are not alike, HealthGrades risk-adjusts the data to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons.

For more information on today’s HealthGrades study, including the complete methodology, visit

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