Hospital high on heart attack, failure care rankings

ALABASTER &045;&045; A new online comparison tool of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ranks Shelby Baptist Medical Center above state and national averages in several areas related to heart

care.

The Alabaster hospital ranks in the top 94 percent for giving heart attack patients a beta blocker upon discharge. Beta blockers can help prevent future heart attacks by slowing the heart rate and lessening the force with which heart muscles contract. Only

86 percent of state hospitals give a beta blocker at discharge.

Similarly, Shelby Baptist more consistently administers aspirin, which is thought to prevent blood clots. Shelby is in the top 93 percent, above the 87 percent state average.

The results, which cover data collected in 2005 and 2006, come on the heels of a $10 million renovation to Shelby Baptist&8217;s cardiology suite. &8220;We are continually growing with our community and making strides to improve,&8221; said April Holcomb, director of business development.

As staff continue to settle into the new 17,500-square-foot facility, Director of Quality Lori Quinn expects even better numbers.

&8220;Since I have been here, I&8217;ve seen significant improvement in our results,&8221; she said. Quinn has already noted greater consistency in smoking counseling, an area Shelby Baptist did not score as well in. With just 78 percent of heart attack patients receiving help with quitting, the hospital fell below the state average of 85 percent.

Chief Nursing Officer Sharon Simmons said electronic documentation, which the hospital expects to implement by August, will help staff keep a more detailed account of all services given.

Complete charts and rankings on hospitals are available at www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.