Mercy Named Top Five Health Care System in the US

April 23, 2018

ST. LOUIS - Shorter hospital stays, fewer complications and better patient results are just a few metrics used to rank Mercy as one of the top five large health systems in the nation, alongside Mayo Clinic. The 2018 Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study recognizes five large, five medium and five small systems from 338 health systems and 2,422 hospitals across the U.S. Click here for listings.

“For the third straight year, we are honored to be named one of the top five large systems in the nation for the medical care we provide to our communities,” said Lynn Britton, president and CEO of Mercy. “By putting rigorous plans in place, we’ve been able to achieve improvements such as reducing common health-care associated infections like C-diff (Clostridium difficile) by more than 60 percent. This means we can prevent unnecessary suffering for our patients and get them home healthier and sooner.”

The focus on health-care associated infections is a new metric in the study this year due to its impact on patient care – including reducing deaths – as well as lowering the cost of care. Mercy’s efforts tied to C-diff reduction have led to significantly higher prevention and earlier detection, and have resulted in avoiding more than $5 million in health care costs from 2016 to the present.

Watson Health, an IBM company and formerly known as Truven Health, produces the only study of its kind to combine rigorous analysis of individual hospital performance metrics into system-level data, identifying the best health systems in the nation. This annual, quantitative scorecard uses objective, independent research and public data sources. Health systems do not apply for consideration, and winners do not pay to market their award.

Mercy outperformed peers in the following ways:

  • Saved more lives and caused fewer patient complications
  • Lower cost of care
  • Readmitted patients less frequently
  • Shorter wait times in emergency departments
  • Shorter hospital stays
  • Better patient safety
  • Higher patient satisfaction 
Watson 15 Top 2018

Some of the keys to improving the quality of patient care have included efforts made possible because of Mercy’s dedicated team, leading technology and best practices:

  • Mercy was among the first health care organizations in the U.S. to have an integrated electronic health record (EHR) connecting all points of care. With a finely-tuned EHR, clinical best practices can be hard-wired into the system, resulting in triggers that warn of possible complications at very early stages, as well as data that can help reduce variation and improve compliance.
  • With more than 2,000 integrated physicians – one of the largest medical groups in the nation – Mercy brings primary care and specialty doctors together to implement proven, clinical-based best practices to improve patient care.
  • Specialty councils, made up of physicians, nurses and clinicians, represent more than 40 areas of medicine, providing best practices for everything from heart surgery to the delivery of babies.

“This speaks volumes about Mercy’s relentless efforts to provide quality care and ensure patient safety across Mercy,” said Dr. Keith Starke, senior vice president and top quality officer for Mercy across four states. “This ranking measures the quality of patient care, including the ability to reduce errors, infections and accidents that can harm patients.”

Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems in 2018, 2017 and 2016 by Watson Health, an IBM company, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 800 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 44,000 co-workers and 2,100 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, supply chain organization, ROi, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients in more than 20 states coast to coast.

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