For the second time in three years, Carrollton, Ga.-based Tanner Health System stands among the top health systems in the nation for quality, according to a report released Monday by Truven Health Analytics.
Truven — formerly Thomson Reuters — compiles an annual list of the nation’s top 15 health systems, choosing five large, medium and small health systems for its list. Tanner placed among the top five small health systems for 2012 and now for 2014. Tanner was the only health system in Georgia among the top 15 this year.
“This is one of the most significant indicators of quality and value available in the healthcare industry,” said Loy Howard, president and CEO of Tanner Health System. “It exemplifies the standards we’ve set at Tanner to lead not just the state or the region, but the nation in quality care.”
In determining the 15 Top Health Systems in the nation, Truven researched all U.S. health systems with two or more short-term, general, nonfederal hospitals; cardiac, orthopedic and women’s hospitals; and critical-access hospitals.
Researchers looked at eight metrics that gauge clinical quality and efficiency: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average length of stay, 30-day mortality rates, 30-day readmission rates, adherence to clinical standards of care (evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS), and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) patient survey scores.
The study relied on public data from the 2011 and 2012 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data and the CMS Hospital Compare datasets.
“This year's health system winners are setting the national standard for higher quality, efficiency and patient perception of care, which together mean higher value for each community served,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Truven. “These systems have strong leadership and clinical excellence, and they are or stand to become outstanding partners with employers and other stakeholders in setting goals for improving community health.”
The study from Truven found that the 15 Top Health Systems experienced 2 percent fewer deaths than non-winning peer-group hospitals. They also had lower 30-day mortality rates, with smaller health systems like Tanner outperforming their peers by the widest margin. Patients at the top-performing hospitals also had 3 percent fewer complications, a shorter median average length of stay and 8 percent fewer adverse patient safety events than expected due to better adherence to core measures of care than their peers.
“We have evaluated and reevaluated our processes and procedures, implemented best practices and in many cases developed our own best practices to ensure the highest level of patient care possible,” said William Waters IV, MD, chief medical officer at Tanner. “This is further evidence that people who choose Tanner are receiving the right care at the right time, every time.”
According to Howard, this achievement is all the more remarkable because it factors in quality scores at each of Tanner’s hospitals — including Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica, Higgins General Hospital in Bremen and Willowbrooke at Tanner.
“Building an environment where the focus on quality extends comprehensively to four inpatient care facilities is a huge feat,” said Howard. “It means that our patients can expect to receive the best care possible whether they’re choosing a Tanner facility in Bremen, Villa Rica or Carrollton. All our facilities are performing at the top of the industry.”
Recently, Tanner Medical Center/Villa Rica was named to Truven’s annual list of the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation for 2014. That hospital joined Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton as 2014 HEALTHSTRONG Hospitals, according to iVantage Health Analytics. For the past two years, Higgins General Hospital has been the only critical access hospital in Georgia named to iVantage’s list of the nation’s Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals and has been named the No. 1 critical access hospital in Georgia for the past two years by Georgia Trend magazine. Tanner’s hospitals also were in the top category of the Georgia Hospital Association’s quality honor roll for 2014.
“Health care has always been a competitive industry, but the growing trend toward transparency and accountability is helping patients make educated decisions about their care,” said Howard. “Truven’s list isn’t based on an award that we applied for or some nomination we made; it’s based on publicly reported quality data that’s out there for anyone to look at, for anyone to review, to help make the right choice concerning their care. Our physicians, nurses, therapists and everyone else at Tanner has been committed to leading the nation in quality. Everyone has worked tirelessly toward that goal. Our placement among the nation’s top health systems cements the reputation we’ve built one patient at a time. Tanner’s team of healthcare professionals deserves a tremendous amount of credit for this achievement.”
More information about the Truven announcement is available online at http://100tophospitals.com/studies_and_winners/15_top_health_systems/. The complete list of winners and criteria is available on Truven’s official announcement: http://100tophospitals.com/assets/15-Top-Health-Systems-2014.pdf (please note that this is a .pdf file).
Tanner Health System features a medical staff of more than 300 physicians representing 34 medical specialties. In addition to its hospitals, Tanner also operates Tanner Medical Group, one of metro Atlanta’s largest multi-specialty physician groups as ranked by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. More information on Tanner’s quality metrics can be found online at www.TannerQuality.org.