Hagerstown hospital makes 'top 100' list

MARYLAND WATCH

January 06, 1998

Washington County Hospital in Hagerstown was the only Maryland hospital on a national "top 100" list released yesterday by HCIA, the Baltimore health data company, and William M. Mercer Inc., a benefits consulting firm.

The rankings are based on statistics that include death and complication rates, average lengths of stay, profitability and financial reserves, and shifting from inpatient to outpatient care.

Johns Hopkins Hospital, St. Agnes Hospital, Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center have made the list previously.

Ray Grahe, vice president for finance, said Washington County Hospital has been working for eight or 10 years to "compare ourselves against the top performers" in benchmark data compiled by HCIA.

For example, he said, the hospital has cut its average stay from six days in the early 1990s to 4.3 days. He said the hospital had a profit margin of about 9 percent in fiscal 1997.

In the five years HCIA has been ranking hospitals, overall performance has improved, said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president.

Pub Date: 1/06/98

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