Healthgrades names the nation's 'Best Hospitals'

Report IDs three common traits of a top-performing facility

Healthgrades on Tuesday released its ninth annual list of "America's Best Hospitals," recognizing the country's top hospitals based on their performance across multiple common conditions and procedures.

The "Best Hospitals" lists honor hospitals on two levels: The 50 Best Hospitals and the 100 Best Hospitals. The rankings build on the organization's 2015 Distinguished Awards of Clinical Excellence, which were announced in January and recognize the top 5% of hospitals in the country.

How 'best hospitals' are picked

To be eligible for consideration, hospitals had to have sufficient data to assess mortality and complication rates for at least 21 of the 32 conditions and procedures included in the Healthgrades methodology.

The health care quality group then evaluated each hospital's performance on the quality measures. Hospitals with the best performance received five stars, while hospitals with average performance received three stars and hospitals with low performance received one star.

Years of 'Best Hospitals'

Using those ratings, Healthgrades identified the top 5% of hospitals and awarded them the Distinguished Award for Clinical Excellence.

To qualify for the 50 Best Hospitals list, which represents the top 1% of hospitals based on the Healthgrades criteria, hospitals had to receive the Distinguished Award for at least six consecutive years. For the 100 Best Hospitals list, which represents the top 2% of hospitals based on the criteria, hospitals had to receive the Distinguished Award for at least three consecutive years.

Traits of a 'best hospital'

From 2011 to 2013, the risk-adjusted mortality rate for 19 procedures and conditions at the 100 Best Hospitals was 26.4% lower than at other hospitals. Healthgrades estimates that 172,626 lives could have been saved over the two-year period if all U.S. hospitals had performed at the level of the Best Hospitals.

According to Healthgrades, "top hospitals" shared three common traits:

  • Vision;
  • Evidence-based decision making; and
  • Collaboration.

"The report's key takeaway is that tenacity and leadership are required to sustain superior performance and help practitioners deliver high clinical quality care," says Evan Marks, Chief Strategy Officer at Healthgrades. He adds, "We commend those organizations that have achieved this distinction and encourage all consumers to do their homework when selecting a hospital since all hospitals do not perform equally" (Healthgrades release, 2/24; Healthgrades report, 2/24; Healthgrades methodology, 2/24).

Achieve the three components of success

The Advisory Board is helping hundreds of hospitals achieve Healthgrades' key components of success. Here are some key Advisory.com resources to help facilities become Best Hospitals:

    2. Watch this case study to find out how Sentara Healthcare created a culture of safety. And get an overview of how the Advisory Board is helping organizations use engagement and culture of safety data to build high-performance workforce cultures. 

    3. This popular study—"Building a Best-in-Class Quality Infrastructure"—can help your hospital develop protocols to maximize investments in quality improvements and measure their effectiveness.

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