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How Hospitals Can Leverage Unbiased Rankings Data to Inform Improvement Efforts

Key takeaways:

  • Consumerism is increasing in healthcare and this will require hospitals and health systems to take a holistic approach when improving quality, safety and patient care.
  • Analyzing unbiased metrics, national data and robust intelligence dashboards can help hospitals and health systems retain and recruit providers, enhance patient-centered care, improve outcomes and build trust within the community.
  • Discover how Premier’s PINC AI 100 Top Hospitals® program data and nationally balanced scorecards can help your organization optimize labor and improve quality and patient safety.

Healthcare spending is projected to grow 5.4 percent between 2022 and 2031, yet hospitals and health systems are still challenged by profit margins and maintaining customer perception.

Consumers are more aware of their influence on healthcare and are increasingly more involved due to the rise in health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible insurance plans. With more “skin in the game” coupled with their desire to obtain care on their schedules—a doctor’s visit on their mobile device or monitoring their health in the privacy of their homes—hospital delivery of high-quality and patient-centered care is necessary for overall improvement.

This shift in consumer habits will require hospitals and health systems to stop thinking about just performing better than their local competitors and start thinking about providing high-quality care and a customer experience that is on par with top consumer brands.

To do so, hospitals will need to examine performance in a holistic way for meaningful change and implement a strategy for managing total performance by leveraging transparent, balanced scorecards through a complete national lens, inclusive of real-time analytics, to assess current performance across a host of measures that matter.

As hospital leaders assess and work to strategize for 2024, identifying operational efficiencies, streamlining expenses and delivering high-quality care are top of mind.

During a recent Becker's Healthcare webinar, several panelists spoke about how they leverage rankings data, such as data provided by the PINC AI 100 Top Hospitals® program, and clinical best practices to drive continued quality improvements and innovation. Let’s deep dive into the top three.

1. Informing Quality Improvement

Hospitals and health systems put a lot of time into identifying opportunities for improvement — from reducing length of stay and readmissions to improving patient care and outcomes.

Panel participants discussed some of the ways their teams utilize the 100 Top Hospitals®

designations and data to identify opportunities.

“We go through all of our ratings, our various priority metrics, and discuss various cases that have had concerns involved. We are heavily involved in assessing quality and safety on a daily and weekly basis,” said Dr. Tyler Hill, MBA, FACEP, Chief Medical Officer, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital.

“I'm really passionate about how we improve our processes and procedures to set both our staff and our patients up for success,”

said Alessia Banning, Vice President of Quality, Long Peak Hospital. “The further that you can dig into that and have those “win-win” situations where our clinicians are set up for success and our patients have better quality outcomes with better, safer procedures.”

For healthcare organizations, continued collaboration and unity among staff from various departments will prove to be helpful in strategizing to make quality, safety and data-informed decisions in quality improvement.

2. Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent as a Top Hospital

Engaging all members of a healthcare team, from potential recruits, new hires and direct care staff to executives in shared quality improvement efforts encourages a collective responsibility for patient care and outcomes.

Many hospitals and health systems continue to face workforce management challenges and a shortage of healthcare workers. To tackle these challenges, some hospitals and health systems are leveraging their 100 Top Hospitals® designation to improve their recruitment and retention of top clinical staff.

“I leverage our rankings designations in our GME programs to attract and retain top talent,” explained Kimberly Bertini, DNP, RN, NE-BC, Regional Director, Clinical Nursing Excellence, Temple Market, Baylor Scott and White Health. “These rankings help to set the bar for interviewees and for potential new hires looking for their first choice as a resident, a nurse, a housekeeper or a food nutrition worker.”

Collaboration across all healthcare staff ensures that every discipline contributes to the healthcare delivery process, promoting an environment where excellence in patient care is the shared goal. In addition, these national, unbiased rankings data can help to share the positive outcomes achieved, instill confidence in the communities served and can fill a potential recruit’s bucket as a “Top Hospital” to work.

“We’re instilling confidence in our communities with these outcomes and third-party vendors that use non-biased approaches to rank us,” said Bertini.

The empowerment of people and teams is an integral part of helping to achieve positive healthcare outcomes, emphasizing a culture of shared accountability and the importance of everyone’s contribution to patient care.

3. Nationally Benchmarking Against Peers for Sustained Improvement

Benchmarking has been recognized as a valuable method to help identify strengths and weaknesses at all levels of the healthcare system. It has been applied to the healthcare sector with the aim of measuring and comparing clinical outcomes across organizations as well as enabling them to learn from one another and apply best practices.

Healthcare organizations consistently look for ways to compare themselves to peers and set strategies towards quality and patient care improvement. To do so, they need actionable data that can show national comparison to similar hospitals.

Concerns about apples-to-oranges data comparisons aren't new, but it has become even more difficult for hospitals to find benchmarking peers given the widespread financial pressures hitting all organizations. Even hospitals historically seen as exemplars are feeling more pinched. As a result, hospital executives may feel less than confident in knowing which organizations to benchmark themselves against.

Last September, PINC AI™ and Fortune announced 2023’s 100 Top Hospitals® generating more than 4,000 customized hospital reports based on publicly available, unbiased data across several clinical measures. Panelists share how they leverage the data to compare themselves against peers and identify new areas for quality improvement.

“We used to just compare ourselves to ourselves. And I think what really happens is when you open and broaden your lens and look around the country at how you compare to other, like, facilities, it really allows you to see how you truly are performing,” said Dr. Kory Anderson, Physician Advisory Services and Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) at Intermountain Health.

Healthcare organizations realize there are multiple ways to ensure access to quality, actionable data. Benchmarking against peers is just one way to identify opportunities and optimize quality improvement efforts.

Across the healthcare landscape, the pursuit of quality improvement is a central theme that resonates across various institutions.

The importance of consistency, collaboration and a unified approach are highlighted as key to achieving and maintaining high standards of patient care. Additionally, the strategic use of public reporting programs like the 100 Top Hospitals® Program, is recognized as an influential factor in aligning organizational goals with quality initiatives. Effective systems and tools, alongside the strategic utilization of technology and unbiased, publicly available data, are acknowledged as foundational elements in the quest for healthcare excellence.

Premier’s PINC AI team shares compiled one-year and five-year comparison reports while working with hospitals and health systems to review the results, identify opportunities for change and help teams implement evidence-based strategies for improvement.

“Hospitals that earn the 100 Top Hospital® designation receive a score based on performance comparatively across the nation,” said Tara Bain, RN, BSN, Vice President, PINC AI 100 Top Hospitals® Program, Premier. “We don’t charge for these reports, we give them out willingly because we want the actionable data in the hands of healthcare leaders that can use them most.”

This April, the PINC AI100 Top Hospitals® Program will announce the 2024 100 Top Hospitals® followed by the 15 Top Health Systems in May, so stay tuned!

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