Editor's Note: Solucient, an Evanston, Ill.-based healthcare information company, has released a list of 64 additional hospitals that should have been included in the firm's 100 Top Hospitals ranking published late last year. Modern Healthcare published the original list in its Dec. 9, 2002 print edition (p. 28). Because of a tie, that list included 101 hospitals. As a service to our readers, Modern Healthcare agreed to publish the names of the 64 additional hospitals as well as a statement from Solucient regarding the original list.
Beyond the hospitals that were honored as the 100 Top Hospitals for 2001 (Dec. 9, 2002, p. 28), Solucient is adding another 64 institutions to the list, which represents the very best in high-quality care and efficient operations.
There are two overriding factors for publishing this addendum.
Solucient uncovered a database error that resulted in the December 2002 rankings being based solely on patients having surgical procedures. While the original 100 Top Hospitals: Benchmarks for Success list accurately identifies top hospitals in surgery, the updated list incorporates both medical and surgical cases, which is consistent with the 100 Top Hospital methodology in previous years.
"As soon as we detected a potential issue with the data, we were committed to correcting the analysis and issuing a full report to the hospital community," says Gary Pickens, Solucient's chief research officer.
In preparing the revised analysis, Solucient was able to include more than 800 additional hospitals that were not included in the initial review because of availability issues with the Medicare cost-report information.
In 2002, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services restructured its cost-report database and modified data submission requirements in the outpatient area. As a result, a number of hospitals that are regularly top performers were not eligible for consideration in the analysis published late last year simply because their cost reports were delayed in processing because of the changes required by the CMS.
"The nonavailability of cost reports was a unique situation in 2002," Pickens says.
Solucient reviewed year 2000 Medicare cost-report and inpatient discharge data from 3,086 acute-care hospitals to establish the revised list. Each hospital on the new list of 165 reflects the top-performing benchmarks that the list has inspired during the past nine years.
The 100 Top Hospitals study is committed to creating high targets for performance improvement across the entire hospital, involving eight measures of clinical, operational and financial performance.
"Indeed, the additional hospitals being recognized result in benchmarks that imply an even higher standard of performance," Pickens says. "The 100 Top Hospitals program is about performance improvement, and we want to reassure all hospitals that are using our benchmarks that we take this responsibility very seriously."
The updated list of 100 Top Hospitals shows that when compared with all U.S. hospitals these benchmark institutions have impressive in-hospital mortality and average length-of-stay performance rates.
Solucient has taken a number of internal actions to ensure that future 100 Top Hospitals data analytics are even stronger. The company also has confirmed with external, third-party reviewers that previous years' rankings are correct as published. In addition, all hospitals that have requested individualized benchmark data will receive new, updated reports.
"For nearly a decade, the 100 Top Hospitals list has delivered critical hospital performance benchmarks that have helped to drive improvements in the quality and efficiencies in healthcare institutions today," says Jean Chenoweth, executive director of Solucient's 100 Top Hospitals program. "We plan to continue this leadership role in powering health decisions for tomorrow. We applaud these additional 64 hospitals for their top performance."
The complete list of 2001 winners, as well as revised 100 Top Hospitals benchmarks, can be found on the 100 Top Hospitals Web site: 100tophospitals.com.