Quality can be determined in several ways. Here are some methods that are often referenced as the best indicators to determine whether or not you will receive quality care for your medical condition.

1. Is the hospital rated highly by national, state, or consumer groups?

You can look at hospital report cards developed by national, state, and consumer groups such as www.medicare.gov/hospitalcompare/search.html. Reports such as these help consumers make informed choices and encourage hospitals to improve their quality of care. Several measures are taken into consideration for these report cards, such as patient experiences, timely and effective care, complications, unplanned hospital visits, and value of care.

Lakes Regional Healthcare is proud to receive the highest rating as a five star hospital by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare website, and to be the only hospital in northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota to receive this rating. To learn more and see Lakes Regional Healthcare’s most recent data for these various measures, please visit the Outcomes Data portion within the Quality section of this website.

2. Does your doctor have privileges at the hospital in question?

Doctors are important people in our lives. We trust them to know what illness or injury we have and what care we need to receive. If you want to stick with your doctor, find out if the hospital you’re considering has given them privileges to provide care at that hospital.

Over 200 physicians have privileges at Lakes Regional Healthcare, and their affiliation with Avera out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota provides a connection to many more.

3. Does the hospital participate in your health insurance plan?

It’s what nightmares are made of – you receive care at a hospital only to find out the hospital doesn’t accept your health insurance plan and the expenses must be paid completely by you. Fortunately, Lakes Regional Healthcare participates with most major insurance plans to prevent this kind of scenario.

4. Does the hospital review and continuously improve its own quality of care?

Hospitals across the country must submit various measures as part of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Hospital Value-Based Purchasing reimbursement program. The program rewards hospitals that provide high quality, safe care. That, and the commitment to patients, incentives most hospitals to continuously review and improve their quality of care.

Lakes Regional Healthcare reviews and works to improve quality of care every single day. In fact, everything each staff person does is done to ensure the utmost in quality care. There are also staff that specifically review quality measures to identify trends, at-risk processes, and patient feedback each day in order to address them proactively and consistently improve quality over time.

Learn more about the many achievements of Lakes Regional Healthcare.


Lakes Regional Healthcare tracks the number of patients with unplanned readmissions to the hospital within 30 days after being discharged. Unplanned readmissions are actively reviewed for improvement opportunities. Readmission to the hospital could be for any cause, such as worsening of disease or new conditions. Unplanned hospital readmission is not always related to the previous hospital visit. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports hospital readmission rates for Medicare patients who were admitted to the hospital for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia. CMS compares a hospital’s 30-day readmission rate to the national average for Medicare patients. Lower numbers are better.

Patient mortality (death) rates at Lakes Regional Healthcare are estimates of deaths in the 30 days after either entering the hospital for a specific condition. The mortality rates take into account how sick patients were before they were admitted to the hospital. Deaths can be for any reason, and can occur in the hospital or after discharge. Mortality rates are measured within 30 days, because deaths after a longer time period may have less to do with the care the hospital provided and more to do with other complicating illnesses, patients’ own behavior, or other care services patients received after they leave the hospital. Lower numbers are better. 


The Early Elective Deliveries measure gives the percent of mothers whose deliveries were scheduled too early (1-2 weeks early), when a scheduled delivery wasn’t medically necessary. Lower numbers are better. 

The Medicare Spending Per Beneficiary measure assesses Medicare Part A and Part B payments for services provided to a Medicare beneficiary during a spending-per-beneficiary episode that spans from three days prior to an inpatient hospital admission through 30 days after discharge. The payments included in this measure are price-standardized and risk-adjusted. Price standardization removes sources of variation that are due to geographic payment differences such as wage index and geographic practice cost differences, as well as indirect medical education (IME) or disproportionate share hospital (DSH) payments. Risk adjustment accounts for variation due to patient health status. Lower numbers are better.

The Time Spent in the Emergency Department (ED) measure shows the median time from emergency department arrival to emergency department departure for discharged patients. Lower numbers are better.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires United States hospitals that treat Medicare patients to participate in the national Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, a standardized tool that measures patients’ perspectives of hospital care. The survey asks adult patients questions about clear communication, discharge planning, the hospital environment and the patient’s overall experience. Patient responses are submitted to CMS, which publicly reports the annual results from all U.S. hospitals online. For more information on Lakes Regional Healthcare and other hospitals, visit www.medicare.gov.

As part of a survey about the experience at Lakes Regional Healthcare, patients are asked to rate their overall experience at the hospital on a scale of 0 (worst) to 10 (best). The scores shown below represent inpatients that gave Lakes Regional Healthcare the top ratings of 9 or 10. We are proud that consistently, over 80% of our patients rate their experience as a 9 or 10 out of 10.


All the nurses and other medical professionals and all the other staff made my experience at your facility outstanding. The kindness and concern for me was above and beyond anything we could imagine. Hospital meals were outstanding and everyone was very caring.”

All of the nurses were exceptional – second to none! Kind, knowledgeable, and compassionate.”

Your staff was always saying ‘If there’s anything you need, or we can do, let us know’ – never rushing, always making us comfortable. We were so impressed, we’ve never had such wonderful care than your staff provided.”

The surgery department is awesome! I was treated very well from the time I stepped into the hospital until I left. Everyone was professional and very caring.”

This was an excellent experience from beginning to end!”

We had amazing service in the OB, so much we didn’t want to leave! They are so sweet and caring! I will forever and always remember our time spent in the OB!”

It was better than a 5 star hotel. The staff was all nice, friendly, clean, professional, caring. It was a wonderful place. I’d recommend you to anyone.”

From the time I arrived at the hospital, I felt the kindness and care given to me by the volunteers, the nurses, the surgery room staff, the anesthesiologist, and the surgeon. I felt relaxed and confident in their care. I just want you to know that I appreciate all of you and want to thank you for taking such good care of me. I would highly recommend this hospital for anyone who has health care needs.”