WATONGA, Okla. – 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.
“We are honored to be named one of the top five large systems in the nation for the medical care we provide for the residents of Watonga and our many Mercy communities,” said Cindy Carmichael, administrator at Mercy Hospital Watonga. “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
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.
Mercy Hospital Watonga was the only Oklahoma hospital recently recognized as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. The group measures hospitals based on eight criteria: inpatient share ranking, outpatient share ranking, cost, charge, quality, outcomes, patient perspective and financial stability. Mercy Hospital Watgona also received a platinum achievement award from the Professional Research Consultants (PRC) for improving bedside shift report.