MANKATO — Clinics across Mankato and the surrounding area largely received high marks in new state ratings, although areas of improvement were also revealed for some sites.
The MN Community Measurement study, which was recently released as a Consumer Reports insert, rated 500 clinics on a 1 through 3 scale in colon cancer screening rates, diabetes care and heart care.
Tops in the area, with a three rating in all three measures, was the Mankato Clinic — Wickersham Campus.
Other campuses in the Mankato Clinic system and Mayo Clinic Health System achieved top ratings in at least one category.
While the study provides consumers with an idea on where their care stacks up, local hospitals say they learn from the results too.
“I think that what we’re doing in Minnesota to be accountable for our performance is important,” said Dr. Julie Gerndt, chief medical officer at Mankato Clinic.
The Mankato Clinics apart from Wickersham that received threes in at least one category were the Main Street, Mapleton and North Mankato campuses. Each received top marks in colon cancer screening rates, with North Mankato also receiving a three in diabetes care. The rest of the ratings for Mankato Clinics were twos, which indicates care is comparable to the state average.
Gerndt pointed out that all Mankato Clinics have the same care standards in place. So why the variance in ratings between clinics within the same system?
She said the differences could be explained by looking at what kinds of patients go to each facility.
Wickersham, for example, is fairly new and has a children’s health center, which means parents tend to receive their care there too. Those patients might tend to be more healthy than the older population that goes to the Main Street Mankato Clinic, which has been around for longer and would have more recurring patients through the years.
The Mayo Clinic Health System campuses likewise have uniform standards of care and procedures in place, said Dr. Jennifer Johnson, doctor of osteopathic medicine at the clinic system’s Northridge facility. She said ratings like this one have become more stringent over the years, ensuring clinics are transparent about the quality they offer.
“It becomes much more accurate at reflecting the quality of care,” she said of the ratings. “It really looks at everybody.”
Mayo’s Northridge, Le Sueur and St. Peter clinics stood out brightest among their inter-system peers, with each receiving top ratings in the colon cancer and diabetes metric. The speciality clinic and Eastridge clinic received a top rating in one category. All other facilities received average marks.
Taken together, Johnson said she’s encouraged by this round of ratings.
“This shows us that we’re doing great work,” she said. “We still have room for improvement, and there’s always room to continue to improve on the quality of care that we provide for our patients.”
Outside of the Mankato Clinic and Mayo Clinic Health System campuses, clinics in the area received more mixed results. Hospitals that received ones — indicating below average ratings — were River’s Edge Clinic in St. Peter for diabetes care, Open Door Health Center in Mankato for colon cancer and diabetes care, and the Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic for colon cancer screenings.
A full list of area clinics, with their respective ratings in colon cancer screenings, diabetes care, and heart care metrics, is below:
■ Mankato Clinic-Wickersham Campus: 3/3/3
■ Mankato Clinic-North Mankato: 3/3/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato Northridge: 3/3/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-Le Sueur: 3/3/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-St. Peter: 3/3/2
■ Mankato Clinic-Main Street: 3/2/2
■ Mankato Clinic-Mapleton: 3/2/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato Eastridge: 3/2/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-Mankato Specialty Clinic: 3/2/2
■ Allina-New Ulm Medical Center: 2/2/2
■ Mankato Clinic-Daniel’s Health Center (St. Peter): 2/2/2
■ Mankato Clinic-Lake Crystal: 2/2/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-St. James: 2/2/2
■ Mayo Clinic Health System-Waseca: 2/2/2
■ River’s Edge Clinic-St. Peter: 2/1/Not rated
■ Madelia Community Hospital and Clinic: 1/2/No rating
■ Open Door Health Center-Mankato: 1/1/Not rated