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St. Luke’s Recognized as one of Nation’s 15 Top Health Systems

By Anita Kissee, Notes and Announcements
April 24, 2017

In a rare distinction, St. Luke’s Health System once again has been recognized among the 15 Top Health Systems in America, as ranked by Truven Health Analytics, an IBM Company. This is the fourth consecutive year St. Luke's has received the honor, and places St. Luke's in the same category as well-known industry leaders such as the Mayo Foundation, Mercy and Scripps Health.

Truven Health Analytics™ released its ninth annual study Monday, April 24, 2017. Using objective, independent research and public data, the 2017 study evaluated more than 300 U.S. health systems and hospitals based on balanced, system-wide clinical and administrative performance. The public data includes Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website. 

The 15 Top Health Systems achieved superior performance using a composite score of various measures of care quality, patient perception of care, episode-of-illness cost and operational efficiency. Health systems do not apply for consideration, and winners do not pay to market their award.

The top-performing health systems, including St. Luke’s, were recognized for the following:

  • Saving 66,000 more lives and causing 43,000 fewer patient complications
  • Following industry-recommended standards of care more closely
  • Releasing patients from the hospital a half-day sooner
  • Fewer patient readmissions and fewer patient deaths within 30 days of admission
  • 18 percent shorter emergency department wait times
  • 5 percent Lower Medicare beneficiary cost per 30-day episode of care
  • Higher scores from patients rating overall care 

St. Luke’s Chief Quality Officer Dr. Bart Hill says it’s quite an accomplishment for a relatively new health system to receive this honor four times in a row. Dr. Hill says it shows St. Luke’s is headed in the right direction. The system is 10 years old.

“In 2011, St. Luke’s leadership, including our board, put a bold challenge for quality and safety in front of the whole organization,” Dr. Hill said.  “So we started our journey.”  

The clinician team and staff members have been key to St. Luke’s successes, Dr. Hill said.

“Our physician leadership was a key part of delivering on these aspects,” he said. “We are focusing on our most valuable resource — our people, by investing in them to create a culture that supports each of them to be exceptional in their roles.” 

Contributing to our top-tier ranking is the work St. Luke’s has done to:

  • Focus on achieving highly reliable outcomes with a concentration on zero harm to patients and staff
  • Incorporate patient safety huddles into our daily practice
  • Reduce healthcare-associated infections
  • Provide simulation and TeamSTEPPS training
  • Incorporate evidence-based practices
  • Standardize our care and treatment for stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and sepsis throughout the system
  • Improve hand hygiene
  • Implement our electronic intensive care unit
  • Transition to electronic health records across the system

The 15 Top Health Systems study provides hospital administrators and boards of directors with crucial, evidence-based insights into the effectiveness of health system leadership, organizational performance and management alignment. Building on the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® balanced scorecard concept, this research allows health system leaders to understand how they compare to both peers and national benchmarks in terms of quality of care, operations and patient satisfaction.

Truven Health Analytics is nationally recognized as a leading provider of healthcare data and analytics solutions and services aimed at improving the cost and quality of healthcare. 

About The Author

Anita Kisseé was the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.