The 26-year-old 100 Top Hospitals program recognizes the top performing hospitals based on 10 measures that include clinical outcomes such as inpatient mortality rates and the number of hospital-acquired complications. It also takes into account operational benchmarks such as average lengths of stay and operating profit margins.
The 100 Top were chosen from 2,752 hospitals across the country. Hospitals included on the list published by IBM Watson Health are divided into five categories based on their size. This year’s list includes 15 major teaching hospitals with more than 400 acute-care beds, 25 teaching hospitals with 200 or more beds, 20 large community hospitals with 250 or more beds, 20 medium community hospitals with 100 to 249 beds, and 20 small community hospitals with fewer than 100 beds.
Performance is based on data from 2013 to 2017 for most metrics. Hospitals included on this year’s list had overall 24.9% lower inpatient mortality, 18.7% fewer complications and 19% fewer infections than their peers.
Hospital on the list had an average length of stay that was 10.1% shorter than other hospitals and had 8.1% shorter wait times in the emergency department, 11.9% lower inpatient costs, and averaged a 3% higher patient experience score, according to the survey.
IBM Watson Health projected that if all hospitals were to achieve the same performance benchmarks as those included on this year’s list, it would save an additional 103,000 lives, generate inpatient cost savings of $8.2 billion, and result in a typical patient having 12% lower medical expenses that the average individual receiving care.
This year 11 hospitals made the list for the second straight year after appearing on the list for the first time in 2018.
Two performance measures that showed the largest differences in improvement between those that made this year’s list and other hospitals were complications and 30-day readmissions. The study estimated an additional 38,000 patients could have been free of complications if all hospitals achieved this year’s performance benchmarks, while 155,000 fewer patients would have been readmitted within 30 days of their discharge.