Akron General Medical Center has been named one of the nation’s 50 best hospitals by HealthGrades, a national health-care information firm.

HealthGrades evaluates hospitals each year based on Medicare inpatient data for a variety of procedures and conditions, ranging from abdominal aortic aneurysm repair and coronary artery bypass graft to total knee replacements and pneumonia.

Akron General was the only Akron-area hospital to be ranked in the top 50 in this year’s list, which was recently released by HealthGrades. Only 1 percent of hospitals made the list.

“It is an elite honor,” Akron General spokesman Jim Gosky said. “We’re thrilled to be ranked by HealthGrades. We’re exceptionally proud.”

Other Northeast Ohio hospitals included on the list of the nation’s 50 best hospitals included Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Marymount Hospital in Garfield Heights and South Pointe Hospital in Warrensville Heights.

Aultman Hospital in Canton ranked in the top 100 of HealthGrades’ annual Best Hospital list.

Dental center expanding

The Summa Health System Center for Dental Health is trying to take a bigger bite out of oral health disparities in the community by adding six new treatment rooms and three additional dental residents.

The health system’s board and the American Dental Association recently approved the expansion, which is expected to be completed July 1, according to a news release from Summa.

The dental program will have 12 exam rooms, seven dental residents, six attending dentists, three dental specialists and 13 support staff.

To help provide continuing funding for the program, the Ohio Department of Health recently awarded the center its fourth Safety Net Dental Care Award, which includes a one-year grant for $75,000.

The center relies on the grant funding for about 3 percent of its budget, according to Summa.

“We are extremely grateful to receive continued support from the Ohio Department of Health,” Marvin Cohen, director of the Summa Center for Dental Health, said in the news release. “This grant helps extend our mission to provide the highest quality, compassionate care to our patients and to contribute to a healthier community.”

For more information about the Summa Center for Dental Health, call 800-237-8662.

Tests questioned

More than a dozen medical specialty groups have joined together to compile a list of tests and procedures that doctors and patients should question.

The “Choosing Wisely” campaign is an effort by 17 national doctor groups “to cut unnecessary health-care spending and reduce harms,” according to a news release from the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The AAFP worked with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for the pregnancy-related recommendations in the latest list.

These are the campaign’s newest recommendations:

• Don’t schedule elective, non-medically indicated inductions of labor or cesarean deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation. Earlier deliveries have been associated with increased risk of learning disabilities and potential increased risk of other problems, including death.

• Avoid elective, non-medically indicated induction of labor between 39 weeks and 41 weeks of pregnancy unless the cervix is ready. Higher ?C-section rates result when labor is started before the cervix is ready for labor and delivery.

• Don’t screen for carotid artery stenosis in adults without symptoms. Screenings could lead to non-indicated surgeries.

• Don’t screen women older than 65 for cervical cancer if they have had prior screening and aren’t at high risk for cervical cancer. Evidence shows screenings provide little benefit for these women.

• Don’t screen women younger than 30 for cervical cancer with HPV testing. Potential harms include more frequent testing and invasive diagnostic procedures, along with potential anxiety from abnormal screenings.

For the complete “Choose Wisely” list, go online to http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-?conditions/choosing-wisely.html.

Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or cpowell@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.