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Thomson Reuters

Health Care

Thomson Reuters Announces Top U.S. Health Systems

Fifteen highest-performing hospital systems improve quality

Published: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 - 13:45

(Thomson Reuters: Ann Arbor, MI) -- Thomson Reuters has released its fourth annual study identifying the top U.S. health systems based on balanced, systemwide clinical performance.

The study culled data from more than 300 organizations and singled out 15 hospital systems that achieved superior clinical outcomes based on a composite score of eight measures of quality, patient perception of care, and efficiency.

“This year we are seeing stronger systemwide performance and increased rates of improvement, particularly among the 15 Top Health Systems award winners,” says Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and the 100 Top Hospitals program at Thomson Reuters. “Health system performance is beginning to reflect aspirations to provide more consistent outcomes across communities served. Health care reform appears to have stimulated the increased rate of improvement at the system level.”

Among the key findings in the study were the following: 
Lower 30-day mortality rates: 15 Top Health Systems held post-discharge, 30-day mortality rates steady, while peer health systems demonstrated a significant increase in post-discharge mortality. 
Better survival rates: Winning hospitals had 17-percent fewer deaths than expected considering patient severity, while nonwinning hospitals had 4-percent more deaths than expected. 
Fewer complications: Patients of the winning health systems had 19-percent fewer complications. 
Shorter hospital stays: Patients treated in the winning system hospitals have a median average length of stay of 4.7 days, nearly half a day shorter than peer hospitals’ median stay of 5.1 days. 
Better patient safety and core measure adherence: Top health systems had 23-percent fewer adverse patient-safety events than expected and had better adherence to core measures of care than their peers.

The study divides the top health systems into three comparison groups based on total operating expense of the member hospitals. The winners are as follows:

Large health systems (more than $1.5 billion total operating expense)

Banner Health, Phoenix
CareGroup Healthcare System, Boston
Jefferson Health System, Radnor, Pennsylvania
Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Houston
St. Vincent Health, Indianapolis

Medium health systems ($750 million–$1.5 billion)

Baystate Health, Springfield, Massachusetts
Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania
HCA Central and West Texas Division, Austin, Texas
Mission Health System, Asheville, North Carolina
Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, California

Small health systems (less than $750 million)

Baptist Health, Montgomery, Alabama
Maury Regional Healthcare System, Columbia, Tennessee
Poudre Valley Health System, Fort Collins, Colorado
Saint Joseph Regional Health System, Mishawaka, Indiana
Tanner Health System, Carrolton, Georgia

U.S. health systems with two or more short-term, general, nonfederal hospitals; cardiac and orthopedic hospitals; and critical access hospitals were assessed in the study. Researchers looked at eight metrics that gauge clinical quality and efficiency:
1. Mortality
2. Medical complications
3. Patient safety
4. Average length of stay
5. 30-day mortality rate
6. 30-day readmission rate
7. Adherence to clinical standards of care, such as evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
8. Patient survey score from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Plans Survey (HCAHPSP), which is a nationally standardized survey developed by CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for measuring how patients perceive the care they receive in hospitals

The study relied on public data from the 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets.

Researchers from the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals program have analyzed and reported on the performance of individual hospitals since 1993.

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Thomson Reuters

Powered by the world’s most trusted news organization, Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. It combines industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, health care, science, and media markets. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 55,000 people and operates in more than 100 countries.