Healthgrades again ranks Penrose-St. Francis in top 50

Published: February 26, 2014, 4:27 pm, by Jakob Rodgers
penrose pic

Gazette file

HealthGrades once again named Penrose-St. Francis to its list of 50-best hospitals in the nation – the seventh consecutive year the hospital system has received the award, the website announced this week.

The distinction comes about a month after Penrose-St. Francis earned a Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet Recognition Program.

“I think it speaks to the quality and commitment of Penrose-St. Francis to serve the Colorado Springs and greater southern Colorado community with only the best,” said Margaret Sabin, the hospital system’s chief executive.

The hospital system has a variety of initiatives on tap for 2014.

Penrose-St. Francis recently began a new master planning process – a process that could take up to a year, Sabin said. It will also open a new hybrid surgical room – one that should allow surgeons to operate using much smaller incisions, said Chris Valentine, a hospital spokesman.

The sixth floor of St. Francis Medical Center’s will feature a new inpatient orthopedic center beginning sometime this summer, which should feature 32 beds. And the Penrose Cancer Center will feature a new linear accelerator for radiation treatments.

Also, the hospital will continue to seek a Level I trauma designation from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Its formal application to the state could be submitted in late 2014 or early 2015, Sabin said.

“If we continue on the trajectory we’re on, it’s very possible by the end of the year that we could qualify,” Sabin said. “… There’s only so much trauma so I don’t know that that would continue. But we have seen robust growth in our trauma program.”

Hospital systems continually seek such acclamations for their work, though health care experts have long debated how much weight consumers should place on each ranking system.

For example, a 2010 study led by a University of Michigan fellow found that only eight hospitals appeared on the top-50 hospital lists of two major sources – HealthGrades and U.S. News & World Report.