WellStar West Georgia Medical Center named top 100 hospital

Published 4:26 pm Wednesday, March 27, 2019

For the third time in four years, IBM Watson Health has named WellStar West Georgia Medical Center to its annual national list of 100 Top Hospitals.

The IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals annual study was formerly was known as the Truven Health Analytics 100 Top Hospitals program. Under the Truven name, WellStar West Georgia also earned the designation in 2016 and 2017.

“This achievement is meaningful because it can assure our community that when compared with objective, balanced data from more than 3,000 hospitals across the country, WellStar West Georgia is delivering consistently better care at a lower cost,” said Coleman Foss, president of WellStar West Georgia Hospital. “Specifically for our patients, that means higher survival rates, fewer complications and infections, and a shorter stay in the hospital. As I am relatively new to the WellStar West Georgia family, it is a blessing to know the people I am working with have achieved this level of quality and efficiency simultaneously for the past three out of four years. We are as committed as ever to serve our community at a high level as we work to grow our service lines in response to community needs.”

Conducted annually since 1993, the study identifies the 100 top-performing hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational, and patient satisfaction metrics and data. Hospitals do not apply for the award, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

IBM Watson Health, a leading provider of data-driven analytics and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare, found that the top-performing hospitals in the country achieve better risk-adjusted outcomes while maintaining both a lower average cost per beneficiary and higher profit margin than non-winning peer group hospitals.

The 100 top hospitals separated themselves on several key performance measures:

  • Higher Survival Rates: The 100 Top Hospitals winners achieved survival rates that were 24.9 percent higher than those of peer hospitals.
  • Fewer Complications and Infections: Patients at winning hospitals experienced 18.7 percent fewer complications and 19.3 percent fewer healthcare-associated infections than peer group hospitals.
  • Shorter Length of Stay: Winning hospitals had a median severity-adjusted length of stay that was one half-day shorter (0.5) than peers.
  • Shorter Emergency Department Wait Times: Overall, winning hospitals delivered median emergency department wait times that were 17.3 minutes shorter than those of peer group hospitals.
  • Lower Inpatient Expenses: Average inpatient costs per discharge were 11.9 percent lower (a difference of $830 per discharge) at 100 Top Hospitals versus peer group hospitals.
  • Higher Profit Overall Margins: Winning hospitals maintained a median operating profit margin that was 11.9 percentage points higher than peer group hospitals.
  • Higher Patient Satisfaction: Overall hospital experience, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), was rated 3 percent higher for winning hospitals than peer group hospitals.

The IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals winners outperformed peer group hospitals within all 10 clinical and operational performance benchmarks evaluated in the study: risk-adjusted inpatient mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index, mean healthcare-associated infection index, mean 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rate, mean 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate, severity-adjusted length of stay, mean emergency department throughput, case mix- and wage-adjusted inpatient expense per discharge, adjusted operating profit margin and HCAHPS score.

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

  • More than 103,000 additional lives could be saved;
  • More than 38,000 additional patients could be complication-free;
  • More than $8.2 billion in inpatient costs could be saved; and
  • Approximately 155,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days.

To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 3,156 short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website.

For more information, visit 100tophospitals.com.