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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Patients rate MWH below state and national averages

Mary Washington Hospital

Two-thirds of its patients would recommend Mary Washington Hospital, yet those numbers are below average on the latest patient-satisfaction survey from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The survey results were published this month and are available now on the Virginia Health Information web site.  

The survey is one of the few that is based on what patients say about their hospital experiences, things like how clean their rooms were and how well the nurses  and doctors communicated with them.

Mary Washington scored below the Virginia and national averages on all 10 questions asked. For example, when CMS surveyors asked patients if they would recommend Mary Washington to family and friends, 59 percent answered, “Yes, definitely.” Statewide, the average for that question was 66 percent, and nationally the average was 68 percent.   

Mary Washington also rated below average when patients were asked about the cleanliness and quiet of their rooms, the control of their pain, and what they were supposed to do during their recovery at home. The hospital’s overall rating, as judged by patients, was also below the averages. 

Kathleen Allenbaugh, spokeswoman for Mary Washington, said this morning, “Our goal is to provide high-quality care, and we’re not pleased with where we are with patient satisfaction, and we are working diligently to make improvements.”

In the  last year, the hospital has hired a new company to provide hospitalist services, Allenbaugh said. It also uses patient comments in its staff training programs, and it looks at other hospitals nationwide to see if their “best practices” can be adopted at Mary Washington.

“We try to learn from the successes of others,” she said.  

CMS asked at least 300 patients about their experiences at Mary Washington. The results cover the period October 2008 through September 2009.

VHI is a nonprofit agency charged with collecting statewide health data. Its web site is here. Click on the Hospital Patient Satisfaction section on the main page.

Stafford Hospital and the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center were too new to be included in this survey.


  • whoopdeedoo

    This isn’t news. This has been a well known documented fact for many many years. Thank goodness the monopoly is over around here. I havent been to the new Spotsy hospital yet but I’ve heard about 70 percent positive feedback about it.

  • Imnotsurprised

    Im not surprised.. Not at all. I went there they sent me home then sent me a bill for 1200 dollars for a 4 hour visit in LD… because no one came to get my insurance information. Just plain ole bad service had to go to the bathroom unhooked myself and all because no one was around.

  • Disgusted

    After the treatment I saw my elderly parents receive at MWH and the fact that the “hospitalist” (dr’s that could hardly speak english) wanted me to let my mother starve and leave her to die I think they should lock the doors and throw away the keys!!!!!! It’s about time we get physicians in this town that were not college failures or wanted in another area for malpractice.

  • America First

    Generally the hospital is pretty good, I have had great Nurses there..but I always get an infection there requiring a month of anti-biotics.
    CLEAN THE PLACE UP! especially the op and post-op rooms!
    aAnd tell everyone who touches patients to wash their hands in between each patient!!!

  • Obama Care

    Duh!! Did you have to do a survey to figure this out? Just go there one time, in any dept, and you will see it is all about the $$$. (Unless you are an not a US citizen, and then it is free for the patient, but we all pay for it.)

  • Nothing new

    THANK GOD they got a new hospitalists company!! My father was in and out of MWH and each time we had a horrible experience with the hospitalists. We could not understand them and they would get mad. The hospital rooms were filthy. My father ended up with MRSA and dieing after a stay there. MWH said he did not catch it there, I disagree.

  • Rob S

    The culture at MWH has not been focused on serving the patient, but rather serve the system. You can have pretty bricks and mortar, and all the Magnet status’ available, but at end of day, who is the customer, and are you taking care of that customer? Turning the culture around at MWH will require a change in top leadership.

  • Lets B Objective

    The grass seems always greener on the other side.

    If you give HCA a little time they will certainly provide reason to dissapoint. It’s inevitable.

    I believe healthcare across the board needs improving. But ultimately, I believe we need a cultural change. We need to live healthier lives. Bad food, too much TV, lack of excercise, bitter attitudes, these are culprits that kill.

    MWH has done a tremendous job in recent years and has rightfully earned Magnet commendation for its proven nursing excellence.

    MWH has some excellent doctors. No one and no organization is perfect. We are all on a journey. I believe MWH is committed to providing great care for the people in this region. HCA is here because of the recognized need for a 3rd hospital. I do hope the media can objectively present the storiies that emerge.

    It’s a known fact that a negative story will travel much farther than a positive one. It’s unfortunate we are such creatures that flock to negativity.

    Stay healthy.

    to “Disgusted”, I don’t know the specifics of your situation, but I know that there is a time when letting someone go, is the ethical thing to do. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. I’ve had to let loved ones go too. Having a forgiving heart and creating sweet memories throughout life helps us to live and die, and to let live and die, in peace. God bless all.

  • http://3ZUS 1982

    Fred’s management team isn’t permitted to give him bad news, wonder how they are going to keep this one from him.

  • victord

    It is difficult to maintain patient satisfaction on the MWH floors when staffing levels continue to be cut, and ratio of staff to patients continues to decrease. Oddly, the number of managers with clipboards never seems to go down, but up. Belt tightening at the mother ship seems to be directly related to poor performance at Stafford Hospital. If looking for cause and effect, perhaps the leaders that fought for SHC should be the ones shouldering the responsibility for lagging patient scores, and not the nurse managers.