The recognition program is in its 24th year. Truven identifies hospitals that were top performers based on publicly available government data looking at 11 performance measures including lengths of stay, 30-day readmissions, compliance and death rates. The data were from 2012 to 2015, depending on the metric. Those that make the roster have the best performance compared with all hospitals in their category, which establishes the benchmark for comparison.
Inpatient mortality was 23.3% lower and the rate of complications 17.1% lower among all hospitals on the list compared with their peers, according to the Truven analysis. Average length of stay was 9.4% shorter and wait times in the emergency room were 5.5% shorter compared with the benchmark.
If all hospitals surveyed had achieved the same results as the top-ranked hospitals, nearly 89,000 additional inpatient lives could be saved, 61,000 additional patients could be complication-free and more than $5.6 billion could be saved each year, according to Truven.
A majority of the hospitals on Truven's list, 87%, are repeat winners. Several made a return appearance after many years absent from it. For example, Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak (Mich.), a large teaching hospital, was recognized this year after a 12-year dry spell. North Florida Regional Medical Center, a large community hospital in Gainesville, was recognized after a 13-year absence.
This phenomenon is “what makes a good hospital really good,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president of performance and improvement at Truven. “They floated around below benchmark levels, and then they came back. It shows they are consistently striving.”