Tulsa Hospitals in the Dock

by This Land

Hearing Green Country hospitals describe their legions of satisfied customers, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was a great honor to be allowed to write four- and five-figure checks to them on a regular basis. But what if they make their case to people who’ve come across a little third-party information?

SouthCrest Hospital

The Charge: “Patient Satisfaction scores at SouthCrest indicate that patients are consistently ‘very satisfied’ as compared to other area hospitals. Click here to see a copy of our Online Fact Sheet.”

Expert Witness: On the survey of patients’ hospital experiences conducted by HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) SouthCrest beats the Oklahoma average on zero (0) responses. If “other area hospitals” means the *national average, SouthCrest beats it on two (2). The linked “Online Fact Sheet” has zero (0) to do with their claim about patient satisfaction. It’s a pleasant page about Northeastern Oklahoma wherein you can find average high and low temperatures from 2007 plus the helpful fact that Tulsa is “237 miles from Dallas”.

Verdict: Um. No.

Saint Francis Health System

The Charge: “Several of our units have earned national recognition for patient satisfaction performance over the years. We are proud to share these successes with you.”

Expert Witness: SFHS uses Professional Research Consultants, Inc. (PRC) to measure patient satisfaction, and PRC appears to have a similar methodology as the HCAHPS. Half a dozen units of St. Francis’s units have scored at the 75th percentile or above each year. But. There is no data after 2008. Plus for all I know SFHS has 90 units, in which case six of them getting a C+ or better isn’t all that impressive. The current HCAHPS results show that the hospital beats the Oklahoma average on 3 of 10 questions.

Verdict: Hung jury

Saint John Owasso

The Charge: “At St. John Owasso, we go above and beyond to see to the care of our patients and visitors.”

Expert Witness: St. John Owasso also uses an independent consulting firm (Press Ganey) and also lists a few (3) departments in which they get high marks. But why so skittish? HCAHPS results put SJO above the national *and Oklahoma average in almost all metrics.

Verdict: Above and Beyond Average!

Saint John Tulsa

The Charge: “St. John Health System has been honored with an array of awards and recognition for the care we provide and for our commitment to the community.”

Expert Witness: Though SJT’s website is almost indistinguishable from Owasso’s, they’ve ommitted the “Patient Satisfaction Surveys” page from their installation. And with good reason. Only on the question “Would you recommend the hospital to friends and family” did SJT beat the Oklahoma average. And all the hospitals mentioned here managed that. Well, they have even added defibrillator box in each room.

Hillcrest HealthCare System

The Charge: “The [HCAHPS] survey is intended to inform hospital managers and caregivers what patients think of their hospital care.”

Expert Witness: Hey, I know that survey! It shows that Hillcrest beats the average on zero questions. Hillcrest’s website shows this data with red boxes indicating below average, and green ones indicating above average. Lots of red boxes here. They leave off in March of 2010 when they still had two green boxes.

Verdict: guilty, but honest about it.