Sierra Nevada ranks in top 5 percent of nation’s hospitals in pulmonary care Healthgrades also gives SNMH a five-star rating for treatment of heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and infection |

Sierra Nevada ranks in top 5 percent of nation’s hospitals in pulmonary care Healthgrades also gives SNMH a five-star rating for treatment of heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and infection

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital received five-star ratings from Healthgrades for treatment provided in five key service areas.
Submitted photo |

Today, Healthgrades released its 2015 hospital ratings which found Dignity Health Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital (SNMH) ranked among the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation in overall pulmonary care and the top 10 percent of hospitals for stroke treatment and women’s health services.

The hospital also received five-star ratings for treatment of heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and sepsis (infection), along with five stars for total knee replacement.

“Our entire staff works incredibly hard to provide the best possible care to our community, and these ratings prove what we already know — that the quality of our hospital is worthy of our special community,” said Brian Evans, MD, vice president of medical affairs at SNMH.

Healthgrades is the leading online resource for consumers looking to make informed decisions about their health care choices. The company evaluates objective quality research data from 40 million Medicare patient records at 4,500 short-term, acute hospitals nationwide based solely on clinical outcomes — risk adjusted morality and in-hospital complications.

The bottom line, according to Dr. Evans, is the level of care that the hospital provides.

“It is always humbling to be entrusted to care for our patients, and we take that job very seriously,” he said.

The hospital has also earned service line excellence awards in the specific fields of stroke, pulmonary, and women’s services.

“There is a tremendous effort to continuously improve quality at SNMH, in all areas,” Evans declared. “We measure almost everything that can be measured, and use industry best practices and the unique talents of our own team members to find ways to consistently improve. Our quality department is a big reason for our success. However, the people on the front lines have the greatest impact. From the doctors and nurses, to the technicians, environmental services personnel and many others, we are a team, and we are extremely proud of the work we do.”

The Healthgrades ratings have a practical impact along with the emotional reassurance to patients that they can expect good care, according to Evan Marks, chief strategy officer for Healthgrades.

“Consumers who select a physician associated with a hospital with Healthgrades five-star performance in a special procedure or condition can potentially improve their health outcomes and reduce costs,” he said.

In addition to their ratings system, Healthgrades highlights disparity in hospital performances for specific conditions and procedures and the impact these variations have on health outcomes, as well as increased costs and lengths of stay, Marks explained. He claimed that between 2011 and 2013, if all hospitals performed at the standards of five-star hospitals, over 228,000 lives “could potentially have been saved, and nearly 170,000 complications avoided.”

The complete Healthgrades 2015 Report to the Nation, including methodology used, may be found in full at

The hospital has actually earned top ratings from Healthgrades for a number of years, but was not able to announce those ratings until affiliating with Healthgrades a year ago, according to Debbie Plass, vice president for marketing and business development at the hospital.

For example, this is the second year in a row that women’s health ranked among the top 10 percent of hospitals. The stroke treatment ranking has placed the hospital among the top 10 percent of hospitals for three years in a row, and pulmonary services in the top 10 percent until it received the 5 percent rating for 2015.

Five-star ratings have been bestowed for treatment of heart attack for six years in a row; stroke for three years, pneumonia three years and sepsis for 12 years in a row. The 2015 report includes total knee replacement at the five-star level for the first time.

“We are extremely pleased at this ongoing recognition for achieving and maintaining high quality care,” Dr. Evans said. “Often, our patients are our neighbors, friends, and even family members. We take this responsibility very seriously.”

All physicians providing care for patients at SNMH are members of the medical staff and are independent practitioners, not employees of the hospital.

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