- IBM Watson Health named its 15 top health systems for 2018, including the Mayo Clinic and UPMC. The annual study assesses clinical, operational, financial and patient experience measures to determine overall performance for large, medium and small health systems.
- This year’s study for the first time also includes a quantitative measure of member hospital alignment, which looks at consistency of performance among hospitals within a health system.
- Results show a “small but discernable difference” in individual hospital alignment within highest performing health systems, compared with their peers, according to the report.
Specifically, individual hospitals of top health systems had 1.9% less annual variability in key performance measures than hospitals in comparable systems. The trend was statistically significant over a five-year period, IBM said.
“Intuitively, many healthcare professionals have believed for years that individual hospital alignment is a key to health system success, but alignment has been difficult to quantify,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior program director for 100 Top Hospitals Programs at IBM Watson Health in a statement. “Based on our data, it is clear that better hospital alignment does indeed play a role in overall health system performance, and it is something we will be investigating further.”
Winning hospitals have 14.6% fewer in-hospital deaths, 17.3% fewer complications and 16.2% fewer hospital-acquired infections than nonwinning systems. They also have a median severity-adjusted length of stay that is nearly half a day shorter than their peers.
Top hospitals also have average 40-minute shorter emergency room wait times, 5.6% lower Medicare spending per beneficiary episode of care and 2.3% higher patient satisfaction scores, the report notes.
Health systems are looking at better care coordination, and this reflects the impact such efforts can have. Lists that highlight top achievers allow successful hospitals to rightfully boast and can point to where nonwinners may need to improve.
IBM Watson Health’s five top-performing large health systems for 2018 are:
- Mayo Foundation – Rochester, MN
- Mercy – Chesterfield, MO
- Sentara Healthcare – Norfolk, VA
- St. Luke’s Health System – Boise, ID
- UCHealth – Aurora, CO
Medium health system winners are:
- Aspirus – Wausau, WI
- HealthPartners –Bloomington, MN
- Mercy Health, Cincinnati – Cincinnati
- Mission Health – Asheville, NC
- TriHealth – Cincinnati
The best small health systems are:
- Asante – Medford, OR
- CHI St. Joseph Health – Bryan, TX
- Maury Regional Health – Columbia, TN
- Roper St. Francis Healthcare – Charleston, SC
- UPMC Susquehanna Health System – Williamsport, PA