Being “in a rut” has a negative connotation for most people. But some hospital systems working to improve performance have turned that phrase into a constructive concept as they institute systemwide protocols to improve the consistency and efficiency of healthcare for patients.
OhioHealth, a network of not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare organizations in central Ohio, has established protocols—which leaders there call “good ruts”—so that no matter which of its 12 hospitals a patient walks into, he will get the same standard of care. “The 'rut' liberates the physician and allows them to focus their expertise where it is most needed,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, OhioHealth's chief medical officer.
The system's efforts have paid off. This year marks the fifth time OhioHealth is being recognized as one of Truven Health Analytics' 15 Top Health Systems. The recognition is given for high achievement in clinical performance, efficiency and patient satisfaction.
“Consistency across sites of care is terribly important as transparency increases under the Affordable Care Act,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president of performance improvement for Truven. “It's a major goal of these very high-performing systems.”
This year's list of the 15 Top Health Systems, Truven's sixth annual, is again based on aggregating data for all of a system's hospitals. The 15 systems include the top five each from large, medium and small health systems across the nation. System size is based on total operating expenses.