Mission Health Named One of the Nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by IBM Watson Health for the Sixth Time in Seven Years

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (April 24, 2018) – For a remarkable sixth time in seven years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by IBM Watson Health, formerly known as Truven Health Analytics. Mission Health is the only health system in the nation to achieve this recognition in six of seven years, and the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition even once.

The study, conducted annually since 2008, 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 year’s study evaluated 338 health systems and 2,422 member hospitals to identify the top 15 health systems nationwide that had the highest overall achievement across five performance areas: inpatient outcomes, process of care, extended outcomes, efficiency, and patient experience.

The key performance measures where Top 15 Health Systems outperformed their peers included:

  • Fewer Deaths: Overall, 15 Top Health Systems winners had 14.6 percent fewer in-hospital deaths saving 66,000 lives than non-winning peer group health systems.
  • Fewer Complications and Infections: Patients at Top 15 Health Systems experienced 17.3 percent fewer complications and 16.2 percent fewer healthcare-associated infections eliminating 43,000 patient complications compared to peer group health systems.
  • Shorter Length of Stay: Winning health systems had a median severity-adjusted length of stay that was nearly one half-day shorter (0.4) than peers.
  • Shorter Emergency Department Wait Times: Overall, winning health systems had median emergency department wait times that were 40 minutes shorter per patient than those of peer group health systems.
  • Lower Costs: Combined in-hospital and post-discharge costs were 5.6 percent lower per episode in winning health systems.
  • Higher Patient Satisfaction: Overall hospital experience, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), was rated 7 points or 2.3 percent higher for winning health systems.

“Receiving this recognition for the sixth time in seven years is an extraordinary achievement directly related to our physicians and team members,” said Ronald A. Paulus, MD, President and CEO of Mission Health. “While national recognition is always nice to receive, what really drives our passion is what happens locally: knowing that we deliver demonstrably better outcomes for our patients than nearly any health system in America. Everything that we do is driven by our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each person to their desired outcomes, first without harm, also without waste and always with an exceptional experience for each person, family and team member. This IBM Watson Top 15 Health System designation is a testament to every Mission team member’s relentless focus on quality, safety and compassion. We are honored to deliver nation-leading care for all of our patients across western North Carolina,” Dr. Paulus added.

Mission Health’s laser-like focus on quality and safety has reduced inpatient mortality by more than half since 2010. Against a backdrop that is more challenging than most given that western North Carolinians are older, poorer, sicker and less likely to be insured than state and national averages, Mission Health has achieved both lower costs and higher quality together.
“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.”

About Mission Health
Mission Health, based in Asheville, North Carolina, is the state’s sixth-largest health system. For the sixth time in the past seven years, Mission Health has been named one of the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems by IBM Watson Health in 2018. We are the only health system in North Carolina to achieve this recognition. Mission Health operates six hospitals, numerous outpatient and surgery centers, post-acute care provider CarePartners, long-term acute care provider Asheville Specialty Hospital, and the region’s only dedicated Level II trauma center. With approximately 12,000 team members and 2,000 volunteers, Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of the people of western North Carolina. For more information, please visit mission-health.org or @MissionHealthNC.

About IBM Watson Health
Watson Health is a business unit of IBM that is dedicated to the development and implementation of cognitive and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest healthcare challenges including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more. Learn more at ibm.com/watson/health.

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