Healthcare News & Insights

3 proven strategies shared by ‘America’s Best Hospitals’

The challenges of running a hospital are mind boggling. Providing quality care on top of all the chaos is an even greater feat. But some hospitals actually manage to tame the chaos and rise to the top landing a spot on Healthgrades “America’s Best Hospitals” list

besthospitalsawardThis year, roughly 4,500 hospitals were evaluated by Healthgrades, an online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. But only 1,407 were were eligible for the award based on data availability.

As part of the methodology to determining its Best Hospitals list, Healthgrades evaluates hospital performance on 30 procedures and conditions that fall under the following categories:

  • cardiac surgery
  • coronary intervention
  • stroke
  • critical care
  • gastrointestinal
  • heart attack
  • heart failure
  • pulmonary
  • neurosurgery
  • abdominal aortic aneurysm repair
  • joint replacement
  • joint repair
  • spine surgery
  • other vascular procedures, and
  • other procedures.

What makes these hospitals succeed where others struggle?

Their leaders share similar strategies that fall into three themes:

1. Leadership engages

One of the first things under leadership is “set ambitious goals.” Leaders at these top hospitals don’t strive to meet standards, they set out to surpass them and raise the bar of what is “standard.” They select tailored, high-impact goals based on data and experience. They also look to other industries, such as the airline industry, for safety standards in order to challenge what is possible in the hospital industry.

2. Establish culture

As far as culture goes, they agree that in order to be the best you have to listen to your patients and put them at the center of your quality efforts. These hospitals routinely ask for feedback from patients both during and after their care. So if you want to be the best you need to have everything orbit around patient-centered care and improving patient outcomes.

Another key under “establish culture,” is empower your employees to take ownership regardless of their role or level. Remember: Every employee can and should contribute to good outcomes. And no one should be afraid of retaliation if a mistake is made. It makes more sense to learn from a mistake and move on than to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over.

3. Measure continuously

Lastly, the leaders were in agreement that while there a thousand and thousands of metrics to measure, focusing on a handful of high-impact quality goals helps them prioritize and accomplish change more efficiently. And if something isn’t working, be willing to try something new — don’t let the process model dictate what you do, use a variety of tools to meet your goals.

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