St. David's HealthCare named among top 15 health systems in nation

St. David's HealthCare was named among the nation's top 15 U.S. health systems by Thomas Reuters, a provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care.

The hospital system is one of two in Texas ranked in the top 15 out of more than 300 health care systems nationwide. The award recognizes hospital systems that achieved superior clinical outcomes based on a composite score of eight measures of quality, patient perception of care and efficiency, according to a news release.

David Huffstutler, president and chief executive officer of St. David's HealthCare, said this is the first time the hospital system has been ranked by Thomas Reuters, which has been ranking systems for four years. However, Huffstutler said individual hospitals in the system had been previously ranked by the agency on the Thomson Reuters Top 100 Hospitals list.

"This more publicly affirms sort of what we've known, that our processes, our efforts and the work that our employees and physicians do are really making a difference in terms of quality of care for our patients and patient safety," Huffstutler said. "We know that we have rigorous processes and systems to help us do this, and we know from our own internal benchmarking that we do that at a high level, but seeing that recognition relative to systems across the nation is important. I think it encourages us and motivates us to continue to improve."

According to the release, researchers studied U.S. health systems with two or more short-term, general, nonfederal hospitals; cardiac and orthopedic hospitals; and critical access hospitals. The study used 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, which are evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems patient survey score, which is part of a national initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to measure the quality of care in hospitals.

Researchers used data from the 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets, according to the release.

"Increasingly, patients fortunately are able to go to public sources and see rankings and relative performance in quality and patient safety among hospitals and health systems," Huffstutler said. "It allows patients to see through these measures that are published that we are performing at a high level, and hopefully that gives them confidence in the care and service they are receiving, as well as the efficiency of that care and service."

Scott & White Healthcare was also recognized by Thomson Reuters. The health system was ranked in the top 100 health systems.

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