Maury Regional Health named a top health system in the nation for the fifth time


COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Maury Regional Health (MRH) is the only system in Tennessee to be named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by IBM Watson Health in 2018. Formerly known as the Truven Health Analytics® 15 Top Health Systems, this study spotlights best-performing health systems in the U.S., based on a balanced scorecard of measures derived from publicly available clinical, operational and patient satisfaction data. The study has been conducted annually since 2008 and this is the fifth time that MRH has been recognized.

“It is a remarkable achievement to be named among the nation’s top health system five times in ten years. This recognition is reflective of the outstanding performance of the employees, physicians and volunteers at Maury Regional Health who dedicate their lives to caring for our patients. I am immensely proud of our team,” said MRH CEO Alan Watson.

The 2018 Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study features a quantitative measure of member hospital alignment, which evaluates the consistency of clinical and operational performance among the individual hospitals within each health system. The 15 Top Health Systems are divided into categories of large, medium and small health systems, with only five systems recognized in each category. MRH’s recognition in the small health system category was the result of data for its three hospitals—Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Marshall Medical Center in Lewisburg and Wayne Medical Center in Waynesboro.

To conduct the study, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 338 health systems and 2,422 health system member hospitals. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website. Hospitals do not apply for awards, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

The Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study evaluates health system performance across nine clinical and operational performance benchmarks: risk-adjusted inpatient mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index, mean health care-associated infection index, mean 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rate, mean 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate, severity-adjusted length of stay, mean emergency department throughput, Medicare spend per beneficiary index and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) score.

Following were the key performance measures on which 15 Top Health Systems showed the most significant outperformance versus non-winning peer group health systems:

  • Fewer Deaths: Overall, 15 Top Health Systems winners had 14.6 percent fewer in-hospital deaths than non-winning peer group health systems.
  • Fewer Complications and Infections: Patients at winning health systems experienced 17.3 percent fewer complications and 16.2 percent fewer health care-associated infections than peer group health systems.
  • Shorter Length of Stay: Winning health systems had a median severity-adjusted length of stay that was nearly one half-day shorter (0.4) than peers.
  • Shorter Emergency Department Wait Times: Overall, winning health systems delivered median emergency department wait times that were 40 minutes shorter per patient than those of peer group health systems.
  • Lower Spend: Combined in-hospital and post-discharge costs were 5.6 percent lower per episode in winning health systems.
  • Higher Patient Satisfaction: Overall hospital experience, as measured by HCAHPS, was rated 2.3 percent higher for winning health systems than peer group health systems.

Extrapolating the results of this year's study, if all Medicare inpatients were similarly situated and received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

  • More than 60,000 additional lives could be saved;
  • More than 31,000 additional patients could be complication-free;
  • Health care-associated infections would be reduced by 16%; and
  • Patients would spend 40 minutes less time in hospital emergency rooms per visit.

"Intuitively, many health care professionals have believed for years that individual hospital alignment is a key to health system success, but alignment has been difficult to quantify. Put simply, we wanted to determine how well health systems are achieving the goal of delivering a consistent patient experience in each of their facilities, and start benchmarking that performance each year," said Jean Chenoweth, Senior Program Director, 100 Top Hospitals Programs, IBM Watson Health. "Based on our data, it is clear that better hospital alignment does indeed play a role in overall health system performance, and it is something we will be investigating further."

The winning health systems were announced in the April 23 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

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