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Hospital earns 4-star rating

Each and every employee helped earn this achievement

4 stars

Patient care at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County has achieved a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS updated its hospital performance data and made the announcement Thursday. CMS uses a 5-star quality rating system to measure patient experience with their health care provider.

CEO Irene Richardson explained that improving Sweetwater Memorial’s CMS star rating is part of the hospital’s 2018-21 strategic plan, which focuses on the patient and quality patient care.

“This achievement is a result of the hard work and dedication of each and every one of our more than 500 employees,” Richardson said. “It demonstrates their commitment to our patients, our hospital and our community.”

The information from hospitals nationwide is compiled and a rating is then produced on a 1-to-5 scale, called a star rating, said Kristy Nielson, Chief Nursing Officer. The CMS program ranks more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals in 57 quality measures in several different categories. Only about 30 percent of those hospitals received four stars or higher.

For example, one category includes patient feedback and ratings on hospital performance. CMS also evaluates other categories that assess each hospital’s performance on the safety of care provided, lower rates of readmission, timeliness and effectiveness of care, mortality, efficient use of medical imaging, and value of care, said Kara Jackson, Quality Department director.

“This is the first time MSHC has achieved this milestone,” Jackson said. “It truly is the work of every staff member at the hospital.”

CMS has updated hospital performance data on the Hospital Compare website ( and on to empower patients, families, and stakeholders with important information they need to compare hospitals and make informed healthcare decisions, according to CMS.

“The Hospital Compare website and Star Ratings System are valuable consumer tools that provide helpful and important information on the safety and quality of our nation’s hospitals,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

“These decision-making tools offer greater transparency on hospital performance for a wide variety of users – patients, caregivers, families, and the broader healthcare industry. We constantly aim to improve these resources with feedback from stakeholders, and we are confident this latest update of Hospital Compare data further strengthens this data,” Verma said.

The Star Ratings drive systematic improvements in care and safety as hospitals strive to achieve and maintain high ratings, she said. In order to harness competition to lower costs and improve quality, patients need meaningful, actionable information.