The Chaleur Regional Hospital in Bathurst was rated among the top hospitals in Canada, according to an extensive investigation by CBC’s the fifth estate.
The Bathurst hospital was the only hospital east of Ontario to crack the top-10 in the CBC's rating of acute-care facilities based on patient outcome data.
The hospital earned A+ grades in the categories of: mortality after major surgery, nursing-sensitive adverse events with surgical patients, and readmission after surgery.
It earned A grades in nursing-sensitive adverse events with medical patients.
The rate for mortality after major surgery in the Bathurst hospital is 2.36 per 1,000 patients, while the national average is 8.62.
New Brunswick hospital rankings
The northern hospital also reported fewer adverse events tied to post-surgical nursing care, such as urinary tract infections and bed sores, than an average hospital of the same size.
The Bathurst hospital’s ranking was 18.46 per 1,000 patients compared to the national average of 35.99.
"I was very pleased when I heard the results," said nurse co-ordinator Nancy Ellis, noting post-care, such as her cardiac rehab clinic, helps reduce the number of patients readmitted.
"I thought, this is something that we certainly strive for. And we want to ensure that our patients are well taken care of and that they go home and stay home. That's where people really want to be," she said.
CBC based its assessment on data collected from more than 200 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.
The director of clinical services at the Chaleur Regional Hospital, Wendy Gould, said she was not surprised her hospital fared so well, but it's "quite an honour."
Still, she contends there are always areas to improve upon.
"Certainly we're working to look at … decreasing overtime, having staff work their hours and go home at the end of their shift. Those kind of things we work at," said Gould.
"Patient accommodations — we have a lot of patients waiting for placement in nursing homes, and therefore we struggle on a pretty much daily basis to get enough beds for our surgery program and any medical patients that are coming in from emergency or doctors' offices."
The Chaleur Regional Hospital wasn’t the only New Brunswick hospital to earn a top grade in the CBC investigation.
Perth-Andover’s Hotel Dieu of St. Joseph Hospital earned an A grade in the review. The hospital earned its best marks for readmission after surgery.
While the hospitals in two of New Brunswick’s smaller communities scored well, the hospitals in the three largest cities ranked further down the list.
The Saint John Regional Hospital, The Moncton Hospital, the Dr. Georges-L-Dumont University Hospital and the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton all received grade of a B.
The Fredericton hospital saw some of the lowest scores among the province’s largest hospitals.
It received D grades for nursing-sensitive adverse events, surgical patients, and readmission after surgery.
The report showed 7.27 per 1,000 patients were readmitted after surgery compared to the national average of 6.51.
Canadians can find out how their local hospital fared in the CBC ratings by visiting their hospital's profile page on the Rate My Hospital website.