Stanford Hospital & Clinics Receives Five Stars for Spinal Fusion

Stanford Hospital’s quality of patient care cited by HealthGrades’ 11th Annual Hospital Quality in America Study

For Release: October 14, 2008

Media Contacts: Liat Kobza, Media Relations Coordinator
(650) 723-1462,

Stanford, CA – Stanford Hospital and Clinics today was awarded its third straight five-star rating for back and neck surgery (spinal fusion) by HealthGrades, the leading independent healthcare ratings company.

“We are very proud to have earned this rating,” said Kevin Tabb, the Hospital’s Vice President for Medical Affairs. “It is evidence of our outstanding services and the commitment we have to quality.” The Hospital supports a continuing and comprehensive program to improve patient safety, Tabb said. It recently incorporated a computerized physician order entry system and an online patient safety net tool. It is also committed to using the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s quality improvement criteria to measure its performance.

In its analysis of 41 million Medicare hospitalization records from 2005 to 2007 at the nation’s approximately 5,000 non-federal hospitals, HealthGrades found that patients treated at five-star rated hospitals for nine common procedures are 47 percent less likely to experience a major complication, such as post-operative infections or heart conditions, which can lengthen their hospital stay and recovery.

Hospitals with outcomes that are above average to a statistically significant degree receive a five-star rating. Hospitals with average outcomes receive a three-star rating, and hospitals with outcomes that are below average receive a one-star rating. Because no two hospitals or their patients’ risk profiles are alike, HealthGrades employs extensive risk-adjustment algorithms to ensure the fairness of its comparisons.

On its Web site,, HealthGrades offers consumers free quality ratings of 26 procedures and treatments where consumers can easily compare patient outcomes at their local hospitals.

About Stanford Hospital & Clinics
Stanford Hospital & Clinics is known worldwide for advanced treatment of complex disorders in areas such as cardiac care, cancer treatment, neurosciences, surgery, and organ transplants. Ranked #16 on the U.S. News and World Report annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals,” Stanford Hospital & Clinics is internationally recognized for translating medical breakthroughs into the care of patients. The Hospital is part of the Stanford University Medical Center, along with the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford. For more information, visit

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