DCHS ought to be proud

Consumer Reports is a household name.

The magazine has been around for years.

When it says something is bad, it’s bad. When Consumer Reports says something is good, you can bet it’s good.

Started in 1936 by Consumers Union, Consumer Reports magazine has never accepted paid ads.

The most valuable asset of Consumers Union – a group of professors, labor leaders, journalists, and engineers – is its reputation for independence, impartiality, integrity and expertise.

Free from the pressures of commercial influence, Consumer Reports has tackled some of the toughest safety issues of our time. From seat belts to hazardous vehicles, and from heaters to lawnmowers, Consumer Reports strives to improve the quality of the consumer marketplace.

All of this is important to know because Consumer Reports has ranked Dickinson County Healthcare System No. 5 in Michigan.

DCHS received a safety score of 66. The high score in the state was of 77 given to Oaklawn Hospital in downstate Marshall. Only Portage Health in Hancock received a better score (one point) among U.P. facilities.

Consumer Reports also ranked Dickinson County Memorial Hospital highest in avoiding readmissions and avoiding surgical complications.

These ratings are designed to help consumers compare hospitals based on patient safety score, as well as individual measures relating to patient experience, patient outcomes, and certain hospital practices, magazine officials said.

The last time Consumer Reports rated Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in September 2013, the magazine said it as one of 17 hospitals in Michigan to choose when surgery was needed.

Dickinson County Healthcare System employs some 800 people. These people are our friends and neighbors. Obviously, they’re doing a great job.

Hospital administration officials, physicians and the entire staff ought to be proud.

“This ranking awarded to our health care system by Consumer Reports is based upon very high standards and is a compilation of multiple sources,” said John Schon, administrator-chief executive. “It is a testament to the consistency of the high quality health care that is locally available due to the expertise and commitment of our staff and physicians and the attention to detail given to each of our patients that results in a high level of safe care.”

“A great deal of team work and dedication to detail over the years has resulted in the level of quality and safety we provide right here in Iron Mountain,” adds Sue Hadley, RN, director of nursing.

“This type of national recognition does not come easy,” said Bill Edberg, hospital board chair. “I extend our congratulations to our staff.”

Indeed, area residents can breathe easier knowing Dickinson County Healthcare System is part of the community.