Sutter Davis Hospital named as one of nation’s top hospitals

On April 16, Thomson Reuters published its 19th edition study abstract of the 100 Top Hospitals in the United States. Sutter Davis Hospital is on the list of top small community hospitals in the nation. This is the hospital’s second consecutive year and third time being recognized.

Thomson Reuters is a data company that provides information to improve the quality and cost of healthcare, financial, media and other markets.

The 2012 100 Top Hospitals study took six to seven months and consisted of 2,886 hospitals. There were five categories of hospital classification: major teaching hospitals, teaching hospitals, large community hospitals, medium community hospitals and small community hospitals. The study looked only at short-term, acute-care, non-federal U.S. hospitals.

According to a Sutter Davis Hospital press release, 10 areas were evaluated: mortality, medical complications, patient safety, average patient stay, expenses, profitability, patient satisfaction, adherence to clinical standard of care, post-discharge mortality and readmission rates for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.

The study abstract states Thomson Reuters reviewed five years of data, 2006 to 2010, to study the rate of change in performance.

“In 1993, when we started the study, hospitals tended to use medians as their targets,” said Senior Vice President of Thomson Reuters Jean Chenoweth. “We felt that having national benchmarks as the target would help raise the performance of the hospitals.”

Chenoweth said the organization never releases individual hospital ranks, and instead names groups of hospitals that can collectively set a national benchmark in each of the five classes.

“We buy [each hospital’s] information directly from the federal government,” Chenoweth said. “That’s why we can very honestly say that all of the data in the 100 Top is publicly available; anyone can buy it or download it from the web.”

According to Chenoweth, no hospital can apply to be in the study nor can they choose to be omitted.

“They’re in it because the data is already in the public databank,” she said. “They’re in the study whether they like it or not.”

Chief Executive Officer of Sutter Davis Hospital Janet Wagner said the hospital is very proud to be in the 100 Top Hospitals in the nation.

“We like to think we’re providing the absolute best clinical care to our community,” Wagner said. “It’s easy for me to say that, but when we have national validation that our hospital is one of the best performing in the country, it gives me a great sense of comfort that we are truly serving our community the best that we can.”

Wagner said she believes that Sutter Davis has great teamwork and the people are focused on service, quality outcomes and safe patient care delivery.

“Number one at Sutter Davis Hospital is safe patient care delivery,” Wagner said. “We’re in a community where we have one of the best universities in the country and I believe that our hospitals should also be one of the best in the country.”

There are a number of California hospitals on the list, Chenoweth said. She said the benchmarks were first set by California hospitals because there were so many in the Top 100.

“Over time, the concentration of the winners has shifted regionally,” Chenoweth said. “This year, we see Texas, Florida, California and Pennsylvania with 10 or more winners. That’s really encouraging because it means the bar has been raised.”

According to Chenoweth, this includes setting a new, higher survival rate or lower mortality rate than previously, and shortening the length of stay.

“We’ve seen over five years, lengths of stay shorten significantly,” Chenoweth said. “Patient safety has also improved significantly.”

Wagner said when everybody is thinking about safe patient care delivery, the outcomes all around are better.

“Because the healthcare market is getting more competitive and we’re paid based on our outcomes, it’s imperative we do our very best,” Wagner said. “So every year, it gets a little bit tougher.”

Wagner said Sutter Davis Hospital learns a lot by speaking to patients and families.

“Our goal is to make the experience the best it can be given the situation,” she said. “The team at Sutter Davis Hospital is proud to be in Davis and extremely proud to provide a service that is nationally recognized.”

CLAIRE TAN can be reached at city@theaggie.org.

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