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Press Release

Regional Medical Center Gets Top Rating in Patient Survey

June 23, 2003

Patients have given Contra Costa Regional Medical Center an above-average, three-star rating in the largest hospital patient survey ever released.

The county-operated Regional Medical Center (CCRMC), located in Martinez, improved in every area over a similar survey conducted two years ago. The results of the Patients' Evaluation of Performance Survey will be released on June 25 by the California Healthcare Foundation. (The survey reports are available online at or for free by calling 888-430-2423). The ratings are based on surveys conducted by the National Research Corporation in 182 California hospitals that volunteered to be part of the study.

CCRMC got an above-average overall rating and also scored three stars as a hospital patients would recommend to others, and for how well doctors and nurses explained to patients what to expect after they left the hospital. The scores measure patient satisfaction with medical, surgical and obstetric and gynecological services, which represent about half of the hospital's operations. In all but one other category, CCRMC got two stars, indicating average performance.

"We believe our patients are our best teachers. Participation in this survey allows us the opportunity to receive feedback from patients and use the results to plan for improvement in our care of patients," says Jeffrey V. Smith, MD, Director of CCRMC.

Praising the hospitals that participated, the California Healthcare Foundation said "the willingness of these hospitals to take a critical look at the care they provide, understanding that all results would be published, speaks volumes about their commitment to improving quality."

Dr. Smith says CCRMC took seriously the feedback it received in the last survey and is pleased with the improvement it has made. He credits the teamwork and energy of CCRMC's physicians, nurses, professional and technical staff and the commitment and support of the Board of Supervisors and CCRMC leaders for the progress that has been made.

"We strive to deliver high quality, personalized and comprehensive services to all who seek care. Although public hospitals and health systems like ours face enormous challenges ahead because of the current budget situation, we will continue that commitment in spite of our shrinking resources," says Smith.

Patients rated CCRMC lowest for respecting patient preferences regarding what treatment they want. Although that area showed improvement over the previous survey, Smith says he and his staff will work hard to improve that. "Contra Costa Health Services has a commit to Service Excellence, which means providing high quality service with respect and responsiveness. We intend to bring that commitment to all aspects of CCRMC's operations," says Smith.

He also points to the recent release of the Department's Reducing Health Disparities plan, which outlines strategies for improving health outcomes by increasing cultural and linguistic competence of the staff.

"It's important for us to take a broad look at all aspects of our operations to see how we can improve. These survey results will help us do that," says Smith.

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