Hospital quality and care has never been more important. This is especially evident in the era of COVID-19, which has disrupted norms and placed additional stress on healthcare systems.
The Healthgrades 2021 America’s Best Hospitals Special Report showcases the ongoing efforts, culture, and commitment required to be the best. The report provides a deeper view into the Healthgrades analysis of performance at nearly 4,500 hospitals nationwide and surfaces key trends among the best hospitals in the nation.
When seeking care, consumers instinctively assess reputation. But an even larger part of the story is understanding the performance disparities between local area hospitals, especially for specific conditions and procedures. Patients should be aware of top-performing hospitals in their community and look to these centers of clinical excellence to support their health.
Becoming one of Healthgrades America’s Best Hospitals is extremely difficult to achieve. Hospitals must build and maintain a culture of excellence, focusing on delivering better than expected outcomes and embracing the challenges of quality improvement. And they must maintain this focus and commitment over the course of many years.
One finding from the 2021 America’s Best Hospitals Special Report is extremely significant: if all hospitals performed similarly to the 2021 America’s Best, on average 167, 235 lives could potentially have been saved and patients treated in an America’s Best hospital have, on average, a 27.4% lower risk of dying than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive this award.*
It’s also worth noting that the 2021 America’s Best Hospitals further outperform their peers in treating a core group of conditions across Cardiac, Pulmonary, and Critical Care that account for a majority of in-hospital mortalities in areas evaluated by Healthgrades. Patients are much more likely to have a successful treatment without major complications — and less chance of dying — at one of America’s Best Hospitals.
This year’s report includes commentary from healthcare leaders at America’s Best Hospital recipients across the country. They provide insights on their successes in improving hospital quality, building and maintaining a culture of excellence, and achieving their position as one of America’s Best Hospitals.
“It is a long journey and can be frustrating as you look at your data, look at the gap. But that’s why we’re here and that’s the challenge: to understand that gap to make adjustments and continue to aspire to get there.”
Dr. Hoyt Burdick, Chief Medical Officer, Cabell Huntington Hospital
*Statistics are based on Healthgrades analysis of MedPAR data for years 2017 through 2019 and represent 3-year estimates for Medicare patients only.