News Photo

October 2, 2023

Why Health Systems Need Data from a Leading Hospital Ranking Program

Why Health Systems Need Data from a Leading Hospital Ranking Program

Hospitals and health systems strive to provide quality patient care in their communities. To achieve the highest levels of success, they need objective, real-world data to benchmark performance against peers and identify areas for improvement in key areas such as: quality, patient safety, clinical, financial and operational excellence.

But how can hospitals and health systems obtain this data, ensure it is objective and not fraught with bias?

Hospital ranking programs are designed to provide information about the quality of care delivered to patients. These programs aim to evaluate and rank hospitals and health systems based on a variety of measures including, but not limited to, mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience,and timeliness and effectiveness of care. Some ranking programs use publicly available transparent data, some use subjective measures without full transparency that can be difficult to understand and some offer benchmarking comparison capabilities where they place hospitals together in cohorts with similar hospitals to ensure an ‘apple-to-apple’ comparison, timeliness and effectiveness of care.

The right hospital ranking program can provide actionable data and reports to help hospitals and health systems understand their performance compared with peers, help identify where to make improvements and understand how the community perceives the care they provide.

Here are three reasons why hospitals and health systems need data from a leading hospital ranking program.

Leveraging Objective Data and Analytics

A leading hospital ranking program will utilize transparent data to provide actionable insights about safety and clinical, quality, operational and financial performance and patient perception of care provided. These insights should be based on information that is easily accessible and utilize indicators that are valid and reliable. Good insights can be gleaned from publicly available, nonbiased data such as the data sets provided by Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Care Compare website.

“The 100 Top Hospitals® program data is unbiased, publicly available and really does provide a realistic comparison to similar health systems, which is important for us as a health system,” said Chandan Gupte, Vice President, MHC Clinical Excellence and Research, McLaren Health Care

These insights can and should be utilized by hospitals and health systems to better focus their improvement initiatives, set clinical and quality goals and inform strategy, recruitment and retention efforts.

Benchmarking Capabilities

Hospitals and health systems want to achieve top-quality rankings, provide outstanding clinical care and be recognized in the community as a top-quality hospital where patients come for all their health needs. It is one thing for a hospital or health system to know their performance, but the right data can expand improvement possibilities when a hospital knows how they perform compared to their peers.

This requires a comparison of their performance to similar hospitals across the nation. To do this type of benchmarking, hospital leaders lean on ranking programs that provide reports in a one-year and five-year comparison based on a balanced scorecard approach with a focus on clinical, operational, financial and patient perception. These reports should include risk, wage and severity adjusted data, and categorize hospitals into ‘like’ cohorts for nationwide comparison.

These measurements, in a transparent manner, can enable health system leaders to compare their performance to that of their competitors by using objective, reliable and significant indicators of operational excellence. When hospitals and health systems improve patient quality, they can see their community perception and margins improve.

Advancing Health Equity

Social, racial and economic unjust disparities are some of the most important issues when it comes to evaluating healthcare. Since hospitals and health systems serve diverse populations, they should account for the differences in patients and healthcare needs of their communities.

They need a hospital ranking program that does the same by incorporating a community health measure into their process to help understand their contributions of critical healthcare services, preventive care and impact on overall community health. The community health measure should be weighted equally with other ranked measures assessing inpatient outcomes, extended outcomes, processes of care, operational efficiency, financial health and patient experience.

Once hospital leaders understand where they stand in providing community health services, they can:

  1. Identify ways to improve performance.
  2. Partner with local organizations to implement critical programs.
  3. Help eliminate unjust disparities.
  4. Focus on ways to promote community health, address social drivers of health (SDoH) and support local economic and social progress.

Leading Hospital Ranking Program: 100 Top Hospitals®

The 100 Top Hospitals® program is considered a leading ranking program because of its unbiased, transparent approach to determining nationwide top-performing hospitals and health systems. Unlike other ranking programs, the 100 Top Hospitals® program is largely based on performance and publicly available data with detailed insights, national benchmarks and trend reports.

The program leverages trending data and insights across all measures that helps hospitals and health systems track performance and efficacy of improvement efforts over time.

“We leverage publicly available data because it is objective, honest and provides a nationwide comparison to aid hospitals and health systems in their overall performance improvement efforts,” said Tara Bain, Vice President, 100 Top Hospitals® Program, Premier.

For more than 30 years, the program has produced annual, quantitative studies designed to shine a light on the nation's highest performing hospitals and health systems.

Learn how the PINC AI™ 100 Top Hospitals ® program can assist your hospital in benchmarking, goal setting, strategy development, and recruitment and retention efforts.

Tara Bain, RN, BSN

Vice President, 100 Top Hospitals® Program, Premier
Bain leads the 100 Top Hospitals® program which analyzes publicly available data in a non-biased, transparent way to help hospitals improve performance and recognize the top performing hospitals nationwide that are worthy of the designations as a 15 Top Health System™, 100 Top Hospitals® and 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospital™.