Healthcare News & Insights

Healthgrades honors high-performing hospitals

Healthgrades just released its list of the top-performing hospitals in the country. Besides performing well with achieving several quality benchmarks, the facilities have also made significant progress in improving outcomes for one deadly hospital-acquired condition. 

466124355Not only does Healthgrades allow patients to rate and rank doctors’ performance, the site also honors high-performing hospitals with its Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence award. This year, the website gave the award to 260 facilities.

Using data from Medicare and payor databases, Healthgrades examines the performance of each hospital in several important areas related to patient care. The facilities chosen for the award are among the top 5% of hospitals in the country when it comes to delivering high-quality care to patients.

Each hospital selected has some of the lowest risk-adjusted mortality and complication rates for at least 21 of 32 common conditions and procedures seen in hospital patients, covering everything from diabetic emergencies and pneumonia to hip replacements and valve surgery.

That means that, in these hospitals, patients have a much lower chance of adverse outcomes or death than they would if they received the same care for these conditions at other hospitals.

Per Healthgrades, if all hospitals nationwide performed as well as the award recipients did, there would’ve been close to 160,000 fewer deaths.

Sepsis treatment stands out

In particular, these hospitals excelled at treating patients who contract sepsis.

Sepsis cases are on the rise. According to a report from Healthgrades, sepsis rates have risen over 26% in hospitals that won the Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence award alone. Other facilities are also treating more patients with the condition.

But what separates Heathgrades award winners from the rest of the pack is their diligence in working toward better outcomes for sepsis patients.

While hospitals’ performance in hitting quality benchmarks remained stable in general, most facilities honored by Healthgrades showed marked improvement with treating sepsis – even those who had big improvements before.

In fact, despite the increase in sepsis patients these hospitals are treating, fewer patients are dying from the illness.

Other successes

Besides sepsis treatment, Healthgrades award recipients also had marked improvement in other areas of patient care. Of the hospitals honored, those that had a 10% reduction in risk-adjusted mortality rate for sepsis also had:

  • a 4.3% reduction in risk-adjusted mortality rates for heart failure
  • a 4.1% reduction in risk-adjusted mortality rates for respiratory failure
  • a 3.9% reduction in risk-adjusted mortality rates for pneumonia
  • a 3.3% reduction in risk-adjusted mortality rates for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and
  • a 3.2% reduction in risk-adjusted mortality rates for stroke.

The Healthgrades report suggests this ripple effect happened because a successful sepsis treatment strategy “requires interdisciplinary teamwork, coordination of care and focus,” which can impact quality of care for a variety of conditions, not just sepsis.

Other hospitals looking to improve patient outcomes for various procedures and illnesses can use a similar strategy for success.

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