ANN ARBOR — Truven Health Analytics, formerly the Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters, Monday released its fifth annual study identifying the top U.S. health systems based on balanced, system-wide clinical performance.

The Truven Health 15 Top Health Systems 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.

“As health systems move further into healthcare reform, consistency of hospital and physician outcomes in every community served is the holy grail,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals program at Truven Health Analytics. “Health system leaders’ effectiveness will be measured not solely on the performance of the whole system compared to other systems, but also on the leader’s ability to align the performance of the provider segments of the health system to achieve consistency. This new study begins to measure these aspects of performance.”

Among the key findings in the study were the following:
* Better Survival Rates: 15 Top Health Systems experienced 3.4 percent fewer deaths than non-winning peer-group hospitals.
* Lower 30-Day Mortality Rates: Winning systems’ 30-day mortality rates were lower than peer systems’, and small winning systems outperformed their peers by the widest margin.
* Fewer Complications: Patients of the winning health systems had 3 percent fewer complications than patients in other systems.
* Shorter Hospital Stays: Patients treated in the winning system hospitals had a median average length of stay of 4.49 days, over half a day shorter than their peers’ median of 5.06 days.
* Better Patient Safety and Core Measure Adherence: Top health systems had 7 percent fewer adverse patient safety events than expected, given the case mix of the particular hospital, and had better adherence to core measures of care than their peers.

“The health systems honored in this study are creating a culture of quality care and realizing improved outcomes,” said Mike Boswood, chief executive officer at Truven Health Analytics. “We’re proud to recognize their efforts, and encourage other systems to follow their lead of developing system-wide metrics for creating sustainable quality improvements across every level of care.”

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)
* Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill.
* Banner Health, Phoenix, Ariz.
* Memorial Hermann Health System, Houston, Texas
* OhioHealth, Columbus, Ohio
* Scripps Health, San Diego, Calif.

Medium Health Systems ($750 million–$1.5 billion)
* Alegent Creighton Health, Omaha, Neb.
* Exempla Healthcare, Denver, Colo.
* Mission Health, Asheville, N.C.
* Prime Healthcare Services, Ontario, Calilf.
* TriHealth, Cincinnati, Ohio

Small Health Systems (less than $750 million)
* Asante, Medford, Ore.
* Cape Cod Healthcare, Hyannis, Mass.
* Mercy Health Southwest Ohio Region, Cincinnati, Ohio
* Poudre Valley Health System, Fort Collins, Colo.
* Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Charleston, S.C.

United States health systems with two or more short-term, general, non-federal hospitals; cardiac, orthopedic, and women’s hospitals; and critical access hospitals were assessed in the study. Researchers looked at eight metrics that gauge clinical quality and efficiency: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, 30-day mortality rate, 30-day readmission rate, adherence to clinical standards of care (evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), and HCAHPS patient survey score (part of a national initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to measure the quality of care in hospitals).

The study relied on public data from the 2010 and 2011 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets.

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

Truven Health Analytics delivers information and analysis to the healthcare industry. More at


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