Invermere & District Hospital rated in CBC’s Fifth Estate evaluation

Interior Health president and CEO says subjective survey overlooks indicator

The popular CBC television show Fifth Estate recently rated hospitals throughout Canada, and while the Invermere & District Hospital was evaluated with results posted on, the facility failed to receive a letter grade, similar to a public school report card, due to insufficient input.

There were, however, two categories for which it was evaluated, and they earned the valley’s hospital an A+ and B.

The A+ was awarded for the Invermere & District Hospital’s rate of “re-admission after medical treatment”, a rate that is more than two points below the national rate. According to the evaluation, only 11.1 of every 100 patients are re-admitted to the Invermere hospital, compared to 13.3 nationally; not an uncommon statistic for hospitals in smaller communities where major operations occur less frequently, thus lowering the re-admission rate.

The local hospital’s B grade came from performance in “nurse-sensitive adverse events, medical patients”, which tracks the quality of nursing care. Grading is based on the rate of patients who develop problems such as urinary tract infections, bed sore, pneumonia or broken bones. Locally, 13.13 of every 1,000 patients develop such issues, which compares to 29.19 nationally.

In five categories — respect, communication, timeliness, cleanliness, and “would recommend” — the Invermere & District Hospital’s average rating was four out of five based on results from 27 voters.

The website indicates the hospital has eight beds for acute care, hourly rates for parking, and an active emergency room. There were 528 patients last year, whose visits were an average of 4.59 days.

Dr. Robert Halpenny, Interior Health president and CEO, replied to the results through a press release.

“Interior Health recognizes and supports the importance of transparency and accountability and we welcome third party reviews that make information accessible to our patients and also identify areas where we can make improvements,” he states. “However, along with other health authorities and jurisdictions in Canada, I have a number of concerns with subjective surveys and the CBC Rate My Hospital project.”

He said  the data used to calculate the rankings came from numerous sources that were “reviewed, prioritized, and ranked by a panel of experts selected by CBC.

“I am concerned that these rankings do not include many of the clinical indicators we look at in measuring and improving the quality care we provide in Interior Health.”

All six Interior Health facilities received a B or average rating.

Halpenny said Interior Health relies on the independent Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Canadian Hospital Reporting Project, which publicly posts the five clinical indicators that CBC used in its ratings, in additional to 16 others.

“Interior Health relies on CIHI because of their rigorous methods and focus on accuracy, standardization, and reliable indicators,” he states in the release.

Over 91 per cent of patients who received care at Interior Health’s facilities said the overall quality of their care and services was “excellent, very good, or good” through their most recent patient satisfaction survey, said Halpenny. The results can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health.

“I believe the care we provide at hospitals, health centres, and in our communities is excellent, but there are challenges and we are always looking for ways to improve,” he said.