December 13, 2002

VUH named to Solucient 100 Top Hospitals

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VUH named to Solucient 100 Top Hospitals

Vanderbilt University Hospital, continuing its national ascent as a leader in health care, was again recognized in Solucient’s 100 Top Hospitals National Benchmarks for Success study released this week. This is the third year in a row VUH has been named to the Top 100 list.

The award recognizes the efforts of VUMC’s board, management team, employees and medical staff for providing high quality care, efficient operation, and superior patient results.

Vanderbilt was the only Tennessee hospital named in the 16-member Major Teaching category. Other hospitals in that category included Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and University of Virginia Health System in Charlottesville.

“The hospital’s staff and faculty know we provide excellent service and high quality care. It’s very rewarding to be recognized publicly for our work,” said Norman B. Urmy, executive vice president for Clinical Affairs and CEO of VUH.

As an analysis to identify benchmark hospitals, the study revealed that if all U.S. acute care hospitals were to perform at the level of the 100 Top Hospitals, approximately 57,000 lives could be saved annually and expenses could decline an estimated $9.5 billion, resulting in lower health care costs and savings to Americans.

“Winners of the 100 Top award are hospitals that are committed to constant performance improvement, to bringing better services to their patients, their families and their communities, “ said Jean Chenoweth, Solucient’s executive director of the 100 Top Hospitals program.

Other findings include:

• The 100 Top Hospitals were found to have more successful outcomes than their peers, providing complication-free care 18 percent more often than peers and helping patients survive life-threatening illness 10 percent more often than their peers.

• The 100 Top Hospitals consistently employ fewer staff, but pay hospital staff more — nearly $2,000 more per employee in annual salary and benefits — than do peer hospitals. Moreover, the benchmark hospitals tend to maintain higher ratios of registered nurses, a more expensive resource, according to a recent related Solucient study.

• While the Southern and Central Regions have the highest numbers of winners (31 and 29, respectively), hospitals selected as 100 Top Hospitals in the Northeast jumped from only 15 last year to a total of 26 in the new study.

The study analyzed the nation’s hospitals using empirical performance data from the Medicare MEDPAR aggregated claims database and other publicly available sources. This methodology ensures that the focus is on statistical rather than anecdotal evidence of top performance. The measures stress quality of care, efficiency of operations and sustainability of overall performance, and are calculated for five classes of hospitals:

• Major Teaching

• Teaching

• Large Community, 250 or more beds

• Medium Community, 100 to 250 Beds

• Small Community, 25 to 99 Beds

“This designation reflects Vanderbilt’s commitment to excellence in patient care and outcomes,” said Marilyn Dubree, chief nursing officer. “Our physicians, nurses and clinical staff who have earned this honor are to be congratulated for their efforts every day.”

Eight measures were used to determine performance: risk-adjusted mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index, severity-adjusted average length of stay, expense per adjusted discharge, profitability, proportion of outpatient revenue, total asset turnover ratio, and data quality.

Two other Tennessee hospitals were named in the non-teaching hospital category: Parkridge Medical Center in Chattanooga, and Hendersonville Medical Center.