02/08/12  Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center (SJRMC) was named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems and awarded Top 5 for Small Health Systems (less than $750million in operating expenses) by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.  The top health systems were announced in the January 16, 2012 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

According to Thomson Reuters’ analysis of more than 300 health systems, the 15 Top Health Systems, in matchups with their peers, are ahead of the pack in all study comparisons:  they have better survival rates, fewer patient complications, better long-term outcomes, better adherence to accepted care protocols and patient-safety standards, shorter hospital stays and higher patient-satisfaction scores.

“Being recognized as one of the nation’s top 15 health systems is a testament to our strong culture of quality and safety and our unwavering commitment to efficiency in healthcare,” said Albert Gutierrez, President and CEO for Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. “Our strategic investment in state-of-the-art information technologies and our talented and compassionate team of associates, nurses, and physicians has allowed for us to provide our community with an exceptional level of patient care and safety and the piece of mind that comes with that experience.”

U.S. health systems with two or more short-term, general, non-federal hospitals; cardiac and orthopedic hospitals; and critical access hospitals were assessed in the study. Researchers looked at eight metrics that gauge clinical quality and efficiency: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, 30-day mortality rate, 30-day readmission rate, adherence to clinical standards of care (evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and HCAHPS patient survey score (part of a national initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to measure the quality of care in hospitals). The study relied on public data from the 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets.

“This year we are seeing stronger system-wide performance and increased rates of improvement, particularly among the 15 Top Health Systems award winners. Health system performance is beginning to reflect aspirations to provide more consistent outcomes across communities served,” said Jean Chenoweth, Senior Vice President for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals® program at Thomson Reuters. “Healthcare reform appears to have stimulated the increased rate of improvement at the system level.”

Researchers from the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals program have analyzed and reported on the performance of individual hospitals since 1993.