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Which Lehigh Valley hospitals do patients think are the best? Federal survey reveals the answers

St. Luke's Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township. (April Gamiz / 첥Ƶ)
April Gamiz / 첥Ƶ
St. Luke’s Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township. (April Gamiz / 첥Ƶ)
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Most patients felt good about the care they received at St. Luke’s University Health Network and Lehigh Valley Health Network-operated hospitals, though more patients said they would give top marks to St. Luke’s campuses.

This is according to the most recent data release of the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Service’s , which seeks to collect and publicly report patients’ perspectives on topics that are important to them.

The survey is administered by hospitals to a random sample of adult patients between 48 hours and six weeks after discharge, and unlike much of the other data collected by CMS, it is not restricted to Medicare beneficiaries. The most recent survey was completed between April 1, 2022, and March 30, 2023, and data was published in January.

Questions asked of patients focus on topics including communication with nurses and doctors, staff responsiveness, cleanliness and quietness of the hospital. The survey ends by asking patients what overall rating they would give the hospital, from zero to 10, and if they would recommend the hospital.

CMS grouped these scores as nine to 10, considered high, seven to eight, considered medium, and six or below, considered low.

All hospitals operated by both networks received top marks of nine or 10 from a majority of patients surveyed, but patients who had recently stayed at St. Luke’s hospitals were more likely to give top marks than those who had stayed at LVHN hospitals.

Nationally, 69% of surveyed patients gave hospitals nine or 10 ratings; for Pennsylvania, it was 68%. While all St. Luke’s operated hospitals cleared this bar, only “Lehigh Valley Hospital” — which includes Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, LVH–17th Street and LVH–Muhlenberg — achieved that rating.

When it came to whether patients would recommend LVHN or St. Luke’s hospitals, most respondents said they would or probably would regardless of the hospital, though once again higher percentages said they would recommend St. Luke’s hospitals.

Geisinger St. Luke’s in Schuylkill County was the hospital most frequently highly rated: 84% rated it nine or 10, and 84% said they would recommend it and 14% said they would probably recommend it.

“We are so proud of our team at Geisinger St. Luke’s as being the only hospital in the region recognized by CMS as 5-star rated for patient satisfaction for the care patients received. The Geisinger St. Luke’s campus has set a high standard of performance and quality and this rating is the result of the amazing staff and providers and their commitment to providing high quality care,” said Gabriel Kamarousky, president of Geisinger St. Luke’s Hospital.

Within the Lehigh Valley proper, St. Luke’s Anderson in Bethlehem Township received the largest percentage of ratings and most recommendations.

On the flipside, relatively few patients said they wouldn’t or probably wouldn’t recommend the hospital they stayed at, and the same was true for scores of six or less. However, compared to other hospitals, a larger share of respondents gave low scores, six or less, to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazelton and LVH-Schuylkill, and recent patients at these two hospitals were the least likely to give a firm recommendation.

In an email, LVHN said:  “We are pleased Lehigh Valley Health Network patients have stated a positive experience but we can always be better. We are continuously reviewing ways we can further improve the patient experience at all of our locations.”

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