Two Winnipeg hospitals are among the highest-rated in Canada in a nationwide hospital performance report card prepared by CBC-TV's the fifth estate.
Victoria General Hospital and the Grace Hospital achieved an overall grade of A+ to make the national top 10 list.
"We're pretty pumped. We're pretty happy to get that information," Kellie O'Rourke, the Grace's chief operating officer, told CBC News on Wednesday.
The report card is part of Rate My Hospital, an investigation into Canada's acute-care facilities by the fifth estate, CBC's flagship investigative program.
CBC News based its assessment on data collected from hospitals by the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI), a publicly funded, non-profit organization that gathers and analyzes data on Canadian hospital performance.
A five-member expert panel advised CBC on the selection and use of the data.
Data used by the CBC included rates of patients who died after major surgeries, who were readmitted after treatment and who experienced unexpected complications, known as adverse events, tied to nursing care during a hospital stay.
Scoring an overall grade of A are Seven Oaks General Hospital and Concordia Hospital in Winnipeg.
Achieving a B grade include the Health Sciences Centre and St. Boniface Hospital, as well as facilities in Ste. Anne, Neepawa and Carman.
The lowest grade a Manitoba hospital received was a C. Three facilities have that rating: The Pas Health Complex, Boundary Trails Health Centre and Brandon Regional Health Centre.
Room for improvement
Leslie Worthington, an independent patient advocate, said she likes the transparency of the CBC's rating system, but she noted that the scope of the assessment is limited.
"It's critical that we know what the wait times are in emergency rooms. Why are people waiting? What are other hospitals doing?" she said.
'You cannot rate hospitals…. It's the luck of the draw when you get in there.' —Leslie Worthington
The heads of both the Grace and the Victoria General hospitals acknowledged that there is still room for improvement.
"We're all working all across the regional health authority, for sure, on flow and wait times," said O'Rourke.
"There's a number of other indicators which likely would point to us needing to work on a number of other things," said Francis LaBossière, the president and chief operating officer of Victoria General.
Officials with Prairie Mountain Health, which oversees the Brandon Regional Health Centre, said they regularly review the data from CIHI, looking at more indicators than the ones the CBC is focusing on.
"For those areas where we have recognized that improvements are required, numerous initiatives throughout the region have and will continue to occur to address areas for improvement as required. In fact, many of the indicators we review have shown our initiatives have been working," the health authority stated in an email to CBC News late Wednesday.
Worthington said she's not optimistic the CBC's hospital ratings will have much of an effect on improving patient care.
"I don't think there's going to be any changes because this information came out," she said.
"You cannot rate hospitals…. You know what it is, to me? It's the luck of the draw when you get in there."