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Serving the Susquehanna Region

UPMC Susquehanna Named One of the Nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by IBM Watson Health

by UPMC Susquehanna

UPMC Susquehanna was this week named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by IBM Watson Health™ (NYSE: IBM). Formerly known as the Truven Health Analytics® 15 Top Health Systems, this study spotlights the best-performing health systems in the U.S., based on a balanced scorecard of measures derived from publicly available clinical, operational, and patient satisfaction data. This is the first time UPMC Susquehanna has been recognized with this honor.

This year’s 15 Top Health Systems study evaluated 338 health systems and 2,422 member hospitals to identify the 15 U.S. health systems with the highest overall achievement on a balanced scorecard. The scorecard is based on the 100 Top Hospitals national balanced scorecard methodologies and focuses on five performance domains: inpatient outcomes, process of care, extended outcomes, efficiency, and patient experience. This year’s top health systems were found to have achieved significant excellence in standardization of care.

“Geographically, UPMC Susquehanna serves a rural 12-county area roughly the size of the state of New Jersey,” said Steven P. Johnson, president, UPMC Susquehanna. “We’ve been able to find a balance in meeting the unique health care needs of patients in those communities, rural and suburban, while exceeding the standards for quality care.”

Examples of UPMC Susquehanna’s standardization across its six hospitals include seamless transitions of care, support services alignment, management engineering, and physician care delivery standards. Initiatives such as the multidisciplinary length of stay committee and nurse care managers place continued emphasis on keeping patients out of the hospital, transitioning to home, hospice, or long-term care as appropriate. 

“Intuitively, many healthcare professionals have believed for years that individual hospital alignment is a key to health system success, but alignment has been difficult to quantify. Put simply, we wanted to determine how well health systems are achieving the goal of delivering a consistent patient experience in each of their facilities, and start benchmarking that performance each year,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior program director, 100 Top Hospitals Programs, IBM Watson Health. “Based on our data, it is clear that better hospital alignment does indeed play a role in overall health system performance, and it is something we will be investigating further.”

Extrapolating the results of this year's IBM Watson Health study, if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

  • More than 60,000 additional lives could be saved;
  • More than 31,000 additional patients could be complication-free;
  • Healthcare-associated infections would be reduced by 16%; and
  • Patients would spend 40 minutes less time in hospital emergency rooms per visit.

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