Hospital named one of top 100 |

Hospital named one of top 100

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital on Monday was named one of the top 100 hospitals in the United States.

The distinction comes from Solucient, a health care business information firm. The firm does not compare the Mayo Clinic to the Grass Valley hospital, but ranks the best hospitals in five different size categories.

“We’re extremely proud,” said Michael Castorino, president of the hospital board. “We have a continuous improvement program and it really paid off.”

The report dealt with financial performance, quality patient outcomes and patient safety and satisfaction and compared 1,043 hospitals in Sierra Nevada Memorial’s medium community hospital group. Using data filed with the federal government, Solucient ranked Sierra Nevada Memorial in the top 20 U.S. hospitals with 100 to 249 beds. Sierra Nevada has 121.

“We’ve always done a good job at what we do,” said Dr. Robert Lowe, the hospital’s chief of staff. “We’ve always had an excellent medical staff, and I hope that this would improve the community’s confidence in the hospital.”

The news comes as a much-needed dose of good news for the hospital, which was threatened with federal Medicare sanctions last year for loose handling of pain medications before righting the situation. That was followed by a recent $1.2 million shortfall that caused a round of layoffs.

“The hospital will be going through rough financial times in the next few years,” Lowe said. “It’s important we have the community’s backing.”

In the categories, The Mayo Clinic was rated one of the top major teaching hospitals in the U.S., along with Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut and the University of California at Irvine Medical Center in Orange County. No California hospital was named in the next category of top teaching hospitals.

Two large community hospitals with more than 249 beds in Southern California were named in that category, the Torrance Memorial Medical Center and the Eisenhower Medical Center. The Fairchild Medical Center in Yreka was ranked as one of the top 20 small hospitals with 25 to 99 beds.

Tom Collier, the local hospital’s CEO, said Solucient ranks the data without soliciting the hospital, and he believes Sierra Nevada does not do business with the firm. He said it was a pleasant surprise to find out about the ranking that was printed in a supplement to Modern Healthcare magazine.

“I hope it gives the community a little more confidence in us,” Collier said. “Sometimes they think bigger is better, but it’s not necessarily so.”

For more information on the top 100 hospitals report, visit on the Web.

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