Consumer Reports Gives Beebe Medical Center the Best Surgery Safety Rating in Delaware

Beebe Medical Center is the safest hospital in Delaware to have a surgery, according to Consumer Reports magazine. In the September 2013 Issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 2,463 U.S. acute-care or critical-access hospitals are rated according to how well Medicare patients 65 years of age and older fared following surgery between 2009 and 2011. The ratings consider how well hospitals avoided adverse events that lead either to patients staying longer in the hospital for a procedure than expected, or to patients dying. Medicare claims data from 27 categories of common surgeries was analyzed. 

Consumer Reports gave five ratings signified by a range of clear and colored circles: the highest; above average; average; below average and the worst. Beebe Medical Center received the only above-average rating in Delaware. Details can be found on the website:, where the question is asked, “How Safe is Your Hospital?” A subscription is necessary to view the full report.

“We are extremely pleased to learn of this patient safety rating,” says Jeffrey M. Fried, FACHE, President and CEO of this hospital. “Consumer Reports did not alert us that it was reviewing Medicare data, nor were we sent copies of the findings. This report reflects an unbridled commitment of Beebe Medical Center’s employees, physicians, leadership and Board members to bringing the highest quality of care to our patients. It also reflects the many grass-root efforts by our clinical staff to research and implement the latest in evidence-based medical practices that lead to the continual improvement of patient care.”

In early 2008, Beebe Medical Center, through the efforts of the Board of Directors Quality and Safety Committee, and under the leadership of Michele Thomas, MD, FACS, Chief of the Department of Surgery at the time, enrolled in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) to measure and improve the quality of surgical care. Beebe Medical Center then used findings from the project to identify opportunities for improvement.

At the same time, Beebe Medical Center also initiated and continues to participate in the Surgical Care Improvements Project (SCIP), a national quality improvement program aimed at significantly reducing surgical complications. This program, pioneered by The Joint Commission and aligned with the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), strives to reduce specific complications related to surgical procedures. Through this project, Beebe Medical Center continues to incorporate best practices in surgical care. Beebe Medical Center also incorporated the World Health Organization’s surgical safety “checklist” procedure into Beebe’s “Timeout” protocol. This is a pre-procedural pause in which all members of the surgical team take a few minutes together to go over a safety checklist, which includes the confirmation of the correct patient and the correct procedure, in order to assure a safe surgery for the patient.

This focus on surgical safety has led Beebe Medical Center to establish and follow safety protocols throughout the surgical patient’s care, from pre-admission screening of the patient’s health to surgery preparation, to caring for the patient during surgery, and after surgery. Protocols cover such specific patient care measures as to exactly when antibiotics are given to avoid infection and to what therapeutic measures are needed to avoid blood clots. Patient education also is important at Beebe Medical Center, both before and after surgery.

Of utmost importance are the infection prevention protocols that are followed by physicians and staff members throughout the hospital. Beebe Medical Center has an extensive surgical program in which operations are performed both in the traditional open method and in the minimally invasive methods, including laparoscopy and endoscopy. Beebe Medical Center has received quality ratings for orthopaedic, cardiac and vascular surgeries. It offers some of latest cancer surgeries, such as those for pancreatic cancer, as well as the routine surgeries, such as for the removal of gall bladders and the repair of hernias. Last year, more than 13,000 surgeries were performed in Beebe Medical Center’s 12 Operating Rooms by highly skilled and specialized surgical teams.

Beebe Medical Center is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers multiple services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing lab, imaging, physical rehab services and walk-in care. The Medical Center has received the Heathgrades® Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for four years in a row (2010-2013). It is certified by the Joint Commission as an Advanced Primary Stroke Center, and for hip and knee replacement surgical programs. It is designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology (ACR), and named a Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the American Institute of Minimally Invasive Surgery (AIMIS). 

Contact: Kelly Griffin Director, Marketing and Communications (302) 645-3220

Susan L. Towers Marketing Communications Specialist (302) 645-3222