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Four area hospitals scored better than state and national averages when their patients answered a survey question asking them if they would “definitely” recommend their hospital to family and friends. The scores are based on data from surveys of patients who had overnight stays at U.S. hospitals from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2011, the results of which canbe found on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ interactive website at This “patient satisfaction survey” looked at how well hospitals were dealing with keeping patients comfortable, attending to their needs and controlling their pain.

At Monroe Hospital, 77 percent of patients said they would “definitely” recommend the hospital to family and friends, compared with Indiana’s average of 73 percent and the national average of 70 percent. Not far behind is IU Health Bedford Hospital at 76 percent, followed closely by IU Health Bloomington Hospital and St. Vincent Dunn Hospital, both at 75 percent. IU Health Paoli Hospital was well behind at 57 percent, followed by IU Health Morgan Hospital at 53 percent. For IU Health Bloomington Hospital, the 75 percent score shows improvement from the 71 percent it received five years ago.

“We are always pleased when that score increases, but we are not satisfied,” said LeAnne Horn, IU Health Bloomington Hospital’s director of quality improvement and patient safety officer. “We are not striving to compare ourselves with state and national averages when it comes to our patients’ safety and overall experience. We’re striving for pre-eminence.”

Monroe Hospital

Monroe Hospital also scored well in another significant category — the percent of patients who gave their hospital a 9 or 10 rating on a scale of 0 to10, with 10 being the best. For Monroe Hospital, and also St. Vincent Dunn Hospital, that figure was 75 percent — better than the state average of 73 percent and national average of 69 percent. They were followed by IU Health Bedford Hospital (73 percent), IU Health Bloomington Hospital (70percent), IU Health Paoli Hospital (63 percent) and IU Health Morgan Hospital (61 percent).

In the 10 patient satisfaction categories, Monroe Hospital scored as well as or better thanstate averages in eight categories, and scored as well as or better than national averages in all 10 areas. “I think it is a testimony to the staff at the hospital,” said Joe Roche, Monroe Hospital’s CEO, who normally spends three work days a week at the hospital.

Roche said in light of the hospital’s tumultuous history, particularly in its early years, the doctors and staff should be commended for “staying focused on providing excellent care. Part of our culture at St. Vincents is our commitment to compassionate and safe care, and it’s clear to me that the folks at Monroe Hospital have that same culture.”

The two areas in which Monroe Hospital fell slightly below state averages were in the percentage of patients who said the hospital staff “always” did everything they could to control their pain (70 to 72 percent), and the percentage of patients who said they were given information about what to do during their recovery at home (83 to 84 percent).

“Even though the survey shows us that our patients see us doing great work in many areas, it’s helpful to know what areas we can improve in,” Roche said. “Just yesterday we spent time discussing with our emergency department medical director about things we can do to make sure that when people leave our ED they have a clear understanding of the medicines they’ll be taking and what their follow-up care will entail.”