Newswise — Rush University Medical Center provides the highest quality care of 93 major academic medical centers ranked in the 2019 Quality and Accountability Study by Vizient, Inc., the health care performance improvement organization announced September 19 at its annual conference. 

Nearly all of the nation’s academic medical centers – 95% – participated in the study. It is the seventh consecutive time that the Medical Center has been ranked in the top five, rising from 4th in 2017 to 2nd in 2018 and now earning the top ranking in 2019.

“Across the Medical Center, we have worked rigorously year after year to make the great care we provide our patients even better, and our steady rise in the rankings shows that commitment,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center. “This honor is not the result of individuals, or teams, or departments, but rather the shared vision and purpose of all 12,000 employees to provide the highest quality, patient centered care.”

 The Vizient study of 349 hospitals, which also includes separately ranked community hospitals and smaller academic medical centers, evaluates participants’ performance based on the Institute of Medicine’s six domains of care — safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient centeredness.

 “Quality encompasses everything that should go right during a hospital stay”

“Quality encompasses everything that should go right during a hospital stay,” said Dr. Brian Stein, the Medical Center’s acting chief quality officer.  “Hundreds of metrics measure the countless actions that lead to the best outcomes. Being able to quantify and compare those metrics against some of the world’s best hospitals help our teams accelerate what we’re doing well and identify opportunities to make everything go right, one patient at a time.”

Many health care leaders consider the annual study to be the most accurate gauge of the quality and safety of the care hospitals deliver because, unlike other ranking systems that take reputation into account or use old or incomplete data, the Quality and Accountability Study is based entirely on objective data related to patient outcomes for all inpatients regardless of insurance coverage.

Vizient uses patient outcomes data provided monthly by the hospitals themselves. The study also integrates data from other sources of publicly-reported patient outcomes data, including the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey to measure patient experience, and data provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network to better measure patient safety. 

 Ranking is annual, but Vizient data help Rush improve care every day

 Rush in turn uses the results of the study to guide improvements in patient care. “When we get our data back from Vizient, we don’t just say, ‘it’s great.’ Instead, we look for where have opportunities for improvement and use the data to drive change in those areas,” Lateef said.

For example, in the past year, clinicians caring for cancer patients needing bone marrow transplants (BMT) used the performance data from many of the nation’s top cancer hospitals to guide the creation of the Bone Marrow Transplant Fast Track Clinic, a specialized location within Rush to facilitate frequent follow-up needs. 

 “Patients have labs, infusions, and see the provider all in one location while they receive continuity of care with the BMT team. This has allowed patients to heal in the comfort of their home, but still quickly access care when needed,” explained Jackie Baptista, NP, lead advanced practice provider at the clinic. “The Vizient data helped us set high goals and then better understand how to meet them.”

“This award, with its unique, comprehensive and timely methodology, recognizes hospitals that achieve results on key measures that define patient care and delivery. Members receiving this award have demonstrated high level commitment to the continuous improvement that is necessary to succeed in today’s evolving health care industry,” said David Levine, group senior vice president, advanced analytics and product management for Vizient.