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University of Michigan Health System named one of the nation’s 100 best hospitals for third straight year


Michigan and Ohio produce the most winning health systems

ANN ARBOR, MI – For the third year in a row, the University of Michigan Health System has been named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Solucient – and one of only 15 major teaching hospitals nationwide chosen for the honor.

“We are honored to be included among the nation’s top hospitals,” says Doug Strong, director and CEO of U-M Hospitals and Health Centers. “UMHS consistently strives for the highest level of patient care, and this award recognizes our faculty and staff’s hard work towards achieving this goal.”

The Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Benchmarks for Success program recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, financial performance, efficiency, and growth in patient volume. Hospitals were classified into five comparison groups based on bed size and teaching status: small, medium, or large community hospitals, teaching hospitals, and major teaching hospitals. Solucient is part of Thomson Healthcare, a major provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare.

“A 100 Top Hospital facility functions on all cylinders,” says Jean Chenoweth, Solucient’s senior vice president of performance improvement and 100 Top programs. “These hospitals are high performers in a wide variety of areas -- which makes them very reliable and valuable resources in their communities.”

Solucient analyzed 2,834 short-term, acute-care hospitals using the 2004 and 2005 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data, in addition to Medicare cost reports and outpatient data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Each hospital was reviewed based on nine measures, including mortality (death) index, complication index, patient-safety index, average length of stay, expense per discharge, operating profit margin, cash-to-total-debt ratio, and growth in patient volume, which includes inpatient, outpatient, emergency and surgery services.

A new category, called core measures, was added this year to determine how well hospitals did at providing care according to widely used and accepted guidelines. The core measures, developed by the National Quality Forum as minimum standards of care for all patients, score hospitals on how well they perform in treating heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. The U-M Health System surpassed all other Major Teaching Hospitals on the Top 100 list in this performance measurement.

This is the third year in a row and the fifth year overall that UMHS has been recognized by as a 100 Top Benchmark Hospital. In 2005, the U-M Health System was also named to Solucient’s national Performance Improvement Leaders list, recognizing a fast rate of consistent annual organizational improvement over five years. The U-M Cardiovascular Center was recognized by the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks for Success program for both 2005 and 2006.

Although UMHS has a history of being recognized as one of the nation’s leading hospitals by Solucient and others, the new report suggests that hospital excellence is especially high in the region as a whole. More than half of the winning hospitals in the 2006 study are in the Midwest, and 30 of the 100 Top Hospitals facilities are in Michigan and Ohio. When researchers evaluated hospital performance on a state-to-state basis, nine out of 12 Midwest states placed in the top two quintiles.

“The concentration of 30 percent of the 100 Top Hospitals in Michigan and Ohio is a tribute to the effort these hospitals’ boards, CEOs, and medical staff leaders have made to increase the value of services to their communities and patients,” says Chenoweth.

The study also found that if all hospitals performed like the Top 100 benchmark hospitals, more than 100,000 additional patients could survive each year, and an additional 114,000 could avoid complications. Benchmark hospitals also treated more than 25 percent more patients than non-winning hospitals, including patients who were sicker and required more complex treatment.

Other major teaching hospitals honored include the St. John hospital in Detroit, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Results of the study appeared in the March 12 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. For more information and a complete list of winners, visit
Written by: Marissa Mann


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