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Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems: An analysis of the performance and alignment of America's health systems

The Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study, formerly the Truven Health Analytics study, is part of the Watson Health™ 100 Top Hospitals® study program It delivers a rigorous, aggregate analysis of individual hospital metrics into system-level data. That data is then used to identify the 15 best health systems in the nation, according to our balanced scorecard, and to develop national benchmarks for the industry.

This annual, quantitative study uses objective, independent research and public data sources. Health systems do not apply for consideration, and winners do not pay to market their award.

The goal of the 15 Top Health Systems study is to provide healthcare executives and boards with evidence-based insights into the effectiveness of health system leadership, organizational performance and system-wide alignment.

Building on the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals concept, this research allows health system leaders to understand how they compare to both peers and national benchmarks.

The 15 Top Health Systems 2018 award winners were announced April 23, 2018.

The winners of this year’s 15 Top Health Systems award outperformed their peers in a number of ways. They:

  • Saved 66.000 more lives and caused 43,000 fewer patient complications
  • Followed industry-recommended standards of care more closely (97.3% versus 95.8%)
  • Released patients from the hospital a half day sooner
  • Readmitted patients less frequently and experienced fewer deaths within 30 days of admission
  • Had nearly 18% percent shorter wait times in their emergency departments
  • Had over 5% lower Medicare beneficiary cost per 30-day episode of care
  • Scored nearly 7 points higher on patient overall rating of care

Information-only performance measures

Our study continues to adapt as the healthcare industry changes. We are currently analyzing several new performance measures for information only; they are not yet being used to rank health system performance on our balanced scorecard.

In these new areas of performance, 2018 winners outperformed peers in several ways, including:

  • 28% fewer patients with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and 23% fewer patients with catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  • Coronary artery bypass graft 30-day mortality and readmission rates that were 0.5 and 0.7 percentage points lower
  • 30-day episode payments that were 2% to 5% lower
  • Operating margins that were nearly 1% higher

If you are interested in taking your hospital or health system to the next level, Watson Health offers custom reports, based on our 100 Top Hospitals studies, that can provide in-depth analyses of your organization's performance. These reports can help you clarify how your organization can achieve high performance across quality, safety, efficiency and patient perception of care.

Order your report now.

Watch for our next health systems study release in 2019.


This original appeared on IBM Watson Health Page.