Solucient Top Hospital List Provides Antidote for Health Care System Ailments

Monday, June 05, 2006

Milwaukee’s Columbia St. Mary’s Named Top 100 Hospitals

Milwaukee, Wis., April 3, 2006—If all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those in Solucient’s 100 Top Hospitals list, an additional 106,312 patients would survive each year and the health care system would save approximately $7.6 billion per year. These are just two of the powerful conclusions the 100 Top Hospitals reached after crunching numbers from virtually every hospital in the country. Solucient, based in Evanston, Ill., maintains the nation's largest healthcare database, comprised of more than 22.6 million discharges per year from 2,900 hospitals - representing 77.5 percent of all discharges. Serving a client base of more than 3,100 customers, Solucient provides information resources to more than 2,000 hospitals, as well as 16 of the 20 largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the United States and more than 100 major payers, including 15 Blue plans, representing 60 million covered lives.

This study focuses on short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals that treat a broad spectrum of patients. The database is based on public data—the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data set, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Standard Analytical File (SAF) Outpatient data set, and the Medicare Cost Report. Columbia St. Mary’s is the only health care system in Wisconsin to be recognized with the award this year. This is the most prestigious of three awards given by Solucient. Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee and Ozaukee Campuses were also honored by Solucient in 2004 for being among the nation’s top 100 hospitals in the area of performance improvement.

“This award reaffirms that our commitment to providing high quality care in a safe setting is making a difference in our patients’ lives,” said Leo Brideau, CEO and President of Columbia St. Mary’s.

The current Columbia Campus award is based on several measures of hospital quality and efficiency:

  1. Risk-adjusted mortality index
  2. Risk-adjusted complications index
  3. Risk-adjusted patient safety index
  4. Severity-adjusted average length of stay
  5. Expense per adjusted discharge, case mix- and wage-adjusted
  6. Profitability (operating profit margin)
  7. Cash to total debt ratio
  8. Tangible assets (net plant, property, and equipment) per adjusted discharge
  9. Growth in patient volume
The research highlighted several key areas among hospitals like Columbia St. Mary’s that distinguished them from their peers including: emergency departments of winning hospitals tend to have a higher percentage of patients requiring more complex treatment or admission; have better patient safety as indicated by risk-adjusted Patient Safety Indicator rates; and, benchmark hospitals were also less likely to experience adverse patient outcomes.

“Balanced organizational performance reflects a hospital’s ability to provide sustainable and reliable health care services and value to its patients and community. The 100 Top Hospital award winners continue to demonstrate significant distinctions in provision of value to their communities, as shown by objective differences in clinical outcomes, patient safety, efficient operations and financial stability,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president of Solucient’s Top 100 Hospitals Report.

About Columbia St. Mary’s
Columbia St. Mary's is comprised of four hospitals: Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee, Columbia St. Mary's Columbia Campus, Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Ozaukee, and Sacred Heart Rehabilitation Institute, as well as 28 primary care clinics, the Columbia College of Nursing, a partnership with the Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin, the new River Woods Outpatient Center in Glendale, and new Urgent Care Center in downtown Milwaukee. The system serves individuals and families in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, and Washington counties, with more than 158 years of service. In 2006, Columbia St. Mary’s was named a Solucient Top 100 Hospital. Columbia St. Mary's and its sponsor organizations, Ascension Health and Columbia Health System, share a mission to make a positive difference in the health status and lives of individuals in the community with a special concern for those who are vulnerable.


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