Central Baptist Hospital has been named one of the top hospital performers in the nation on the key quality measures of health accreditation group The Joint Commission.
The hospital received word of its designation in September. Central Baptist is considered one of the top 14 percent of Joint Commission-accredited hospitals nationwide and qualified in the categories of care for heart attacks, heart failure, pneumonia and surgery.
The designations cited by Central Baptist are based on performance data reported to The Joint Commission, based in suburban Chicago, during the previous calendar year. The Joint Commission is an independent not-for-profit organization that is the nation's oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care.
William Sisson, Central Baptist's president and CEO, said The Joint Commission was considered the "bank examiners" of the hospital industry; the commission's findings are considered rankings rather than awards.
"These people come in and look at every aspect of operation," he said.
Other hospitals in Kentucky also received the designation, but not in as many categories as Central Baptist. Frankfort Regional Medical Center, for example, received a top-performer designation in heart failure, pneumonia and surgery, as did Harlan Appalachian Regional Hospital.
Kentucky hospitals including the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and the St. Joseph hospital group are also affiliated with The Joint Commission. UK Hospital had its last full hospital accreditation in 2009 and is scheduled for another in 2012, according to hospital spokeswoman Kristi Lopez.
St. Joseph Berea was recognized in the surgical category by The Joint Commission, said spokesman Jeff Murphy. All St. Joseph hospitals are accredited by the organization, he said, and St. Joseph Hospital in Lexington was recognized earlier in 2011 by The Joint Commission for "best practices for infection prevention."
Sisson said the rankings allow Central Baptist to evaluate the quality-based measures it uses and encourages the hospital to search for future innovations.
"You have to use evidence-based protocols to make sure we're doing the kind of things we should be doing," Sisson said.
As Lexington-area hospitals step up their offerings, Central Baptist is in the midst of a massive building project that will change the look of its campus and make it easier for fragile patients, such as those undergoing radiation, to get in and out for treatment.
The hospital's $200 million expansion of its Nicholasville Road campus includes a cancer center, space for additional medical offices and a new parking garage. It also will allow Central Baptist to offer all-private patient rooms.
"What we've got to do in the future is take out the variability," Sisson said.
That means that patients who come to the hospital with, say, a heart attack, will be more confident that Central Baptist provides the exact same level of care each time such a case arises.
"Every hospital in the state has a chance to do this, and we're the only one that got these four," Sisson said. "That's worth something."