WCCHS has area’s lowest infection rate, study says

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A recent study showed the Wyoming County Community Health System had the lowest infection rate of 16 hospitals in the Western New York region. Officials cited training, along with numerous other improvements, for its quality ranking.

A recent study has reason to make the Wyoming County Community Health System happy.

In year two of the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, Wyoming County Community Health System was rated the best hospital in Western New York with a 2.5 score, beating out 16 other area hospitals.

Hospitals are graded on a scale of 1 to 10 — the lower, the better — with ratings greater than seven bringing a financial penalty.

Last year the hospital rated above the penalty mark but Chief Executive Don Eichenauer was never worried about getting below that threshold.

In fact, he said that last year’s rating, an 8, didn’t reflect all the improvements the hospital made at the time. The nature of the study is to use the previous year’s data, before many of the changes were implemented.

“We made so many improvements and put a lot of processes in place that we were confident about where we’d be (this year),” he said.

Some of the changes made were bringing in specialized physicians for different areas such as orthopedics, additional cardiology, urology, additional general surgery, ears/nose/throat and emergency room, to enhance patient care.

And while being first is certainly an honor, the goal isn’t to beat out other hospitals as much as it is to not be rated above the penalty mark.

United Memorial Medical Center in Batavia has also scored well in this rating program topping the list last year with 2.7 and is in third place this year with a four.

Eichenauer also gives much of the credit to some of the hospital’s remodeling and the emphasis on training. He also cited the partnership with the University of Rochester Medical Center as to why the hospital improved.

“The management and staff at WCCHS were confident of our progress,” Eichenauer said in a press release last month. “I further stated that ‘we are proud of our accomplishments and will continue to work to assure we are providing the best patient care available anywhere.’”