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Patients' Experience Places St. Luke's Among the Nation's Best

By Dr. David C. Pate, News and Community
April 23, 2014

I still remember the look on some of the faces of my executive team when I told them several years ago that I wanted St. Luke’s Health System to be a national leader in quality by 2015. Sometimes you just have to set out extremely challenging but attainable goals to push an organization to what it is capable of. That was the case for us.

St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian are the only Magnet hospitals accredited by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in southwestern and south-central Idaho. St. Luke’s Magic Valley has been recognized by The Joint Commission as a top performer on key quality measures for the past three years, a distinction that distinguishes Magic Valley from all others in the state. 

St. Luke’s Boise and Meridian were recognized by Consumer Reports as number 1 in Idaho for surgery, and are the only Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence in our part of the state. 

And we received wonderful news earlier this week that St. Luke’s Health System has been recognized as one of the top 15 health systems in the country by Truven Health Analytics, a well-respected and independent national healthcare rating agency.

Truven placed St. Luke’s among the top five health systems of our size in the entire United States!    

What is so exciting about this, besides achieving our goal (and a year early, besides!) is that this reflects the work we have remained focused on: serving our patients. I also find it very gratifying because it is recognition of our entire health system, not just one hospital within the system.

These results also reflect our efforts to standardize and implement evidence-based care, such as stroke care, sepsis protocols, and blood management across our System. Together as St. Luke’s, we are making a meaningful difference for our communities.

Winners of the 15 Top Health Systems award outperformed their peers by:

  • Saving more lives and causing fewer patient complications.
  • Following industry-recommended standards of care more closely.
  • Making fewer patient safety errors.
  • Releasing patients from the hospital half a day sooner.
  • Scoring better on overall patient satisfaction.
Several things stand out about Truven’s conclusions. I see that, for a very young health system, our locations are operating increasingly well together. Our Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or HCAHPS, scores, which gauge patient perspectives, are at the top of the field of health systems. Our patient safety indicators and lengths of stay also were among our particular strengths. And when we look at all the quality and patient experience areas that Truven examined, St. Luke's was within the top 5 percent of all systems considered. 

I have always said that our success in pursuing accountable care and the Triple Aim of better health, better care, and lower costs for the benefit of all those who we are privileged to serve would be measured by objective, independent metrics. Now we can demonstrate that we are a national leader in better care. 

Our work continues on improving health and lowering costs, and we intend to remain focused on those aims.

Congratulations to the strong and dedicated St. Luke’s team. This recognition is a testament to the commitment of everyone at St. Luke’s who either cares directly for patients or supports those who do. 

I am so proud of the St. Luke’s team. Well done!

Today, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we continue our focus on becoming even better!

About The Author

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and CEO of St. Luke's Health System, based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate joined the System in 2009. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and his law degree from the University of Houston Law Center.