Hospital Grades

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Based on the joint commission-sponsored website,, treating routine medical conditions at all hospitals is different, especially when it comes to treating heart attacks, heart failure and pneumonia.

Three area hospitals have performed below most accredited organizations in one if not all three treatments.

Marianna's Jackson Hospital Quality and Risk Management director says the number of patients can sometimes skew the report results. "That's probably not unique to Jackson Hospital, but every hospital. There's so much work to do. We spend more time doing the work then actually documenting what you've done."

Rod Whiting, marketing director for Gulf Coast Medical Center in Panama City says the Joint Commission Report is not an indicator of clinician services in the area it's an indicator of communication between clinicians and patients.

"If you look at other areas, we admit we have some room to improve and we are doing that,” Whiting says. “Things such as communication from our physicians and our staff to patients; that's [an] important one because the Joint Commission says it's important, but we look at our outcome measurement as our primary indicator of quality."

Bay Medical Marketing Manager Christa Hild says at the time the study was conducted, there were new treatment measures in place and they were below average, but now they have exceeded it.

"One of these measures would be prescribing aspirin on discharge,” Hild explains. “The national average would be 96-percent of patients who were prescribed aspirin for average. At the time of the data was presented [it] was 93-percent."

"In fact, the same organization that put the [Quality Check] site together has very recently come on site to our hospital and surveyed our process and awarded us a Center of Excellence for Treatment for Heart Attack and Heart Failure."

All three say the issue isn't about patients not getting proper care, but all the information might not be documented and then not credited to the report.

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center and Sacred Heart Emerald Coast both scored above the national average for all three treatments.