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Dempsey Hospital receives high marks
for cost-efficiency in state-wide survey
January 25, 1999

The Health Center's John Dempsey Hospital is the most cost-efficient hospital in the state, according to the latest comparative survey by the state Office of Health Care Access.

"Six years ago, we began a focused re-engineering process to improve productivity and reduce costs. Since then, we've moved up steadily and now we have reached number one," said Leslie Cutler, chancellor for health affairs. "We are very proud of our success in creating an outstanding clinical enterprise that provides the best quality care in such a cost-effective manner."

Dempsey Hospital's number one spot in the report released this month represents a dramatic jump in its ranking among the 32 hospitals included in the report. Dempsey was in 12th place in last year's survey, and in the 22nd spot the year before.

"To provide quality health care and be cost effective is the best of all worlds for us and our patients," said Steven Strongwater, M.D. hospital chief of staff. "There has been an ongoing effort at Dempsey to reduce expenses while maintaining quality care," he said.

The growth in efficiency can be attributed, among other things, to consolidation of departments, elimination of positions through attrition and better purchasing contract agreements, he said.

The top ranking comes on the heels of last year's accreditation with commendation from the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

The survey, called the Report on the Financial Status of Connecticut's Short-Term Acute Care General Hospitals, is based on 1997 financial figures from Connecticut's 32 hospitals. It provides information on their financial stability as required by state law. The report uses a cost index to permit fairer comparison of all the hospitals. The index removes certain expenses that are different and are not incurred by every hospital, like medical education costs or high labor costs in certain expensive geographic areas like Fairfield County. The calculation also provides an adjustment for the severity of patients treated.

The full report is available on the Web at

Patrick Keefe