Full text: Swedish hospital, Dr. Johnny Delashaw comment on Seattle Times investigation

The following is an email response from Swedish hospital to The Seattle Times’ “Quantity of Care” investigation by reporters Mike Baker and Justin Mayo:


“Since our beginning, Swedish has always been committed to the highest quality, safest health care for our community. We often care for the sickest of the sick and work to achieve the best outcome for every patient.” – Tony Armada [Swedish CEO]

Our patient census, including the number of patients receiving care at Swedish Neuroscience Institute (SNI), has increased over the past few years due to a number of reasons, including the ACA providing greater access to care, the addition of new physicians, new highly specialized procedures, and our reputation and overall high levels of quality which have attracted more patients.

“We believe everyone deserves the highest level of care available, no matter who they are or their ability to pay. As a not-for-profit organization, we take this commitment seriously. Last year, 58 percent of patients at the Cherry Hill campus were on Medicare or Medicaid, and in 2015 Swedish devoted more than $175 million to important Community Benefit programs, including more than $17 million in free and discounted medical care for patients in need.” – Tony Armada

We are proud that SNI has a uniquely accomplished and experienced team focused on what is best for our patients.

Dr. Delashaw was selected to join SNI with the support of his colleagues and has a strong record of providing excellent care to his patients. Dr. Delashaw helped define the modern surgical treatment for hemicraniectomy, specializes in complex brain tumors and aneurysms and is sought after by patients in the most challenging conditions. Even undertaking complex surgeries, in all of the surgeries that Dr. Delashaw performs, he performs at national expectations for patient mortality, including an Observed/Expected (O/E) of .92 for readmissions for craniotomy patients and an O/E of 1.22 for mortality. These numbers fall within the expected national performance and are not statistically significant outliers.

SNI outperforms national standards in a statistically significant way. In 2016, a patient would be 31% less likely to die while undergoing a craniotomy at Cherry Hill than the national expectation. For spine fusions, the O/E was .23, substantially lower than the national expectation of 1.0. These national expectations referenced above are derived from an expansive comparative database, with data collected from 3,750 hospitals and over 130,000 providers.

SNI provides care to patients from 44 different states in the U.S. and it is also the primary Neuroscience Institute for Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. Below, please find graphs that reflect total long-term data for Cherry Hill on mortality and readmissions that represent Cherry Hill’s performance against national expectations. These numbers are better than national norms…

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