Thomson Reuters says its study 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 CMS), and HCAHPS patient survey score.
The study found that regardless of their size the top health systems shared many of the same qualities, including:
Lower 30-Day Mortality Rates
The 15 top health systems held post-discharge 30-day mortality rates steady. Peer health systems showed a significant increase in post discharge mortality.
Better Survival Rates
Top hospitals had 17% fewer deaths than expected considering patient severity, while non-winning hospitals had 4% more deaths than expected.
Patients of top health systems had 19% fewer complications.
Shorter Hospital Stays
Patients treated in top systems have an average length of stay of 4.7 days, nearly half a day shorter than their peers' median of 5.1 days.
Better Patient Safety and Core Measure Adherence
Top health systems had 23% fewer adverse patient safety events than expected and had better adherence to core measures of care than their peers.
The study used the 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets to examine health systems with two or more short-term, general, non-federal hospitals; cardiac and orthopedic hospitals; and critical access hospitals.