March 11, 2005

VUMC tops Consumers Digest, Solucient Rankings

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B.V. Rama Sastry, Ph.D.

VUMC tops Consumers Digest, Solucient Rankings

Vanderbilt University Medical Center is among the premier health care institutions in the United States, according to two separate national rankings.

Consumers Digest magazine ranked VUMC number eight on a list of “50 Exceptional U.S. Hospitals,” and the Solucient Insititute once again named VUMC one of the top 100 hospitals in the country.

Consumers Digest derived its rankings from a survey of hospitals by The Leapfrog Group, 165 of the nation’s largest employers that have banded together to promove health care quality and safety.

Respondents to the Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey receive separate scores for each of four quality and safety “leaps”: use of computers by physicians to enter hospital orders; staffing of intensive care units by physicians especially trained to care for critically ill patients; outcomes, process and patient volumes associated with selected high-risk treatments; and adherence to 27 patient safety practices advocated by the National Quality Forum. (Findings from the Leapfrog Survey were announced in the Oct. 14, 2004 edition of the VUMC Reporter.)

The Consumers Digest list of exceptional hospitals came as a sidebar to an article advising consumers about how to select a hospital. The top-ranked hospital on the list was Massachusetts General Hospital.

For the sixth consecutive year, Vanderbilt University Hospital has been recognized as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country in a study by Solucient Institute.

The list identifies hospitals that have “achieved national benchmark level scores for overall organizational performance in comparison with its peers across the nation.”

The list, “Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success,” will appear in the Feb. 28 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

“It's extremely rewarding to be recognized publicly for the work that we do,” said Norman B. Urmy, executive vice president for Clinical Affairs and chief executive officer of VUH. “The hospital's staff and faculty strive to be the best and they work very hard to make the hospital one of the elite health care facilities in the nation. This award is a tribute to their efforts.”

Solucient compiles its Top 100 list after poring over objective statistical analysis of publicly available data from more than 6,000 acute-care general hospitals and determining new national performance benchmarks. Hospitals named to the list scored high in five areas: clinical outcomes, patient safety, operational efficiency, financial results and community service.

According to Solucient, the 100 top hospitals have higher survival rates, keep more patients complication-free and hold expenses down.

They estimate that if all Medicare patients received the same level of care as those in the 100 Top Hospitals then:

• An additional 66,342 patients would survive each year.

• More than 66,506 patient complications would be avoided annually.

• Expenses would decline by an aggregate $6.2+ billion a year.

• The average patient stay would decrease by nearly half a day.