Baystate Named National Leader among Hospitals

SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Medical Center has joined an elite group of hospitals nationwide to be named three times as one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals by Solucient, based on achieving high scores on measures representing hospital-wide performance.

The 2006 study, Solucient 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success, identifies industry benchmarks by recognizing U.S. hospitals that have demonstrated excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, financial performance, efficiency, and growth in patient volume. Solucient, part of Thomson Healthcare, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care, produces the benchmarks each year to assist other hospitals to set goals for their performance.

“Our research confirms that hospitals winning this award three or more times have particularly high levels of performance, and Baystate Medical Center’s recognition as a multiple recipient should be a point of pride in the hospital and the community,” said Jean Chenoweth, Solucient’s senior vice president for Performance Improvement. “It is exceedingly difficult to be selected as a national benchmark hospital, and no U.S. hospital has won this award every year since its inception in 1993.” She noted, however, that hospitals that win the award tend to remain high performers in the year after winning, usually within the top 20{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} of all hospitals.

According to Solucient, the 100 Top Hospitals have higher survival rates, keep more patients complication-free, and attract more patients, all while maintaining higher operating income. Winning hospitals have also adopted a team approach — among their boards, management, doctors, nurses, and hospital employees — to constantly measure performance in many areas of the hospital to make it an even better place for patients to be treated. Solucient also cited research suggesting that hospital-wide teamwork produces a greater likelihood of better patient outcomes, higher satisfaction, and more reasonable costs, as well as a lower likelihood of medical error.

“As a 100 Top Hospitals award winner, our clinical staff and the entire caregiving team are committed to continuous performance improvement and to providing the highest quality services to our patients and their families,” said Mark R. Tolosky, president and CEO of Baystate Health, the parent company of Baystate Medical Center.

If all hospitals performed like the benchmark hospitals, Solucient claims, more than 100,000 additional patients could survive each year, an additional 114,000 could avoid complications, the average patient stay would decrease by more than half a day, and expenses would decline by an aggregate $10.9 billion a year.

With 25{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} higher admissions per bed, benchmark hospitals treat more patients than non-winning hospitals and also treat patients who are sicker and require more complex treatment. In addition, top-100 hospitals spend an average of 12{06cf2b9696b159f874511d23dbc893eb1ac83014175ed30550cfff22781411e5} less per discharge than peer hospitals, while their total profit margin is three times the median of peer hospitals, and salaries and benefits are $3,200 more for full-time staff members.

“A 100 Top hospital is an organization that functions on all cylinders,” said Chenoweth in a recent interview published in Modern Healthcare magazine. “That means they aren’t just good in one area. These hospitals are good across the board.”

According to Solucient, bed size, teaching status, and residency program involvement have a profound effect on the types of patients a hospital treats and the scope of services it provides, and when analyzing the performance of an individual hospital, it is crucial to evaluate it against other, similar hospitals. To address this fact, Solucient assigned each hospital to one of five comparison groups, according to its size and teaching status. The study group of 2,834 hospitals included 163 major teaching hospitals such as Baystate Medical Center, 393 teaching hospitals, 301 large community hospitals, 1,012 medium-sized community hospitals, and 965 small community hospitals.

“Our search to deliver high-quality services is a never-ending process,” said Tolosky,” and Baystate Medical Center has committed time and resources in its continuous pursuit of bringing the highest quality service to its patients.”