Bronson Leading the Nation in Performance Improvement

August 11, 2008


KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Thomson Reuters today released its annual study identifying hospitals that demonstrated the fastest, most consistent improvement in the nation over five consecutive years. Nine of the 100 leading hospitals are in Texas. Florida and New York are each home to eight, and Pennsylvania boasts seven. Kentucky and Tennessee each have six winning hospitals, and California and Michigan have five apiece, including Bronson Methodist Hospital.


Overall, U.S. hospitals struggled to improve their performance from 2002 to 2006, the period covered by the study, but the winning hospitals illustrate that rapid, across-the-board improvement is attainable.


The study — Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders, 5th Edition — examined the performance of more than 2,800 U.S. hospitals on a variety of clinical, financial, operational and patient safety criteria to identify the 100 winners.


The hospital assessment project, which dates back to 1993, was formerly called the Solucient 100 Top Hospitals program. Thomson Corporation acquired Solucient, LLC, in 2006. It acquired Reuters earlier this year to form Thomson Reuters.


“This study identifies superior leadership, based on the success of hospital executive teams’ long-term strategies for strengthening performance,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals programs at Thomson Reuters. “These are true ’Good to Great’ leadership teams that have focused on improving quality, efficiency, use of evidence-based medicine, and financial stability in order to better serve their patients and communities.”


The study rated hospitals on eight factors — patient mortality, medical complications, patient safety, length of stay, expenses, profitability, cash-to-debt ratio, and use of evidence-based medicine. Researchers evaluated 2,867 short-term, acute care, non-federal hospitals grouped into five categories: major teaching hospitals, other teaching hospitals, large community hospitals, medium-sized community hospitals, and small community hospitals.


The study analyzed publicly available Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review data, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Compare data set. It found that the 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders:



  • Went from having more patient deaths and adverse safety events than expected to fewer than expected.

  • Increased expenses only 2.5 percent during the five-year study period, on average, compared with a 17.4 percent increase among their peer hospitals.

  • Increased profit margin from less than 1 percent to 6.9 percent.

  • Reduced average length of stay by nearly a day, despite greater severity of illness.


The vast majority of peer hospitals, however, showed appreciable improvement in only three categories — mortality, length of stay, and patient safety. More than half of the hospitals studied had improved survival rates (lower mortality indices), and one-third decreased their average patient stay. Fourteen percent of all hospitals showed significant improvement on the majority of patient safety measures studied.


For the remainder of the measures, the majority of peer hospitals had no statistically significant change in performance. Financially, most hospitals were treading water — 84 percent showed no marked change in profitability and 77 percent showed no change in cash position. Two-thirds of the hospitals did not significantly decrease their expense per adjusted discharge, and the other third saw an increase in expense per discharge.


“Given these findings, it is clear that healthcare executives are facing great challenges in aligning their organizations for continuous performance improvement,” Chenoweth said. “The hospitals that accomplish this feat are well deserving of this award.”


Here are the winning hospitals, by category:


Major Teaching Hospitals


University Medical Center — Tucson, AZ


Christiana Care Health System — Wilmington, DE


Shands at the University of Florida — Gainesville, FL


University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics — Iowa City, IA


Caritas St. Elizabeth's Medical Center — Boston, MA


Baystate Medical Center — Springfield, MA


Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center — Boston, MA


Henry Ford Hospital — Detroit, MI


The Mount Sinai Medical Center — New York, NY


New York Hospital Queens — Flushing, NY


Westchester Medical Center — Valhalla, NY


Duke University Hospital — Durham, NC


Allegheny General Hospital — Pittsburgh, PA


Vanderbilt University Medical Center — Nashville, TN


Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center — Houston, TX


Teaching Hospitals


St. Bernards Medical Center — Jonesboro, AR


St. Anthony Central Hospital — Denver, CO


Florida Hospital — Orlando, FL


Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare — Tallahassee, FL


OSF Saint Francis Medical Center — Peoria, IL


Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center-South Bend — South Bend, IN


Via Christi Regional Medical Center — Wichita, KS


Bronson Methodist Hospital — Kalamazoo, MI


St. Joseph Mercy Oakland — Pontiac, MI


McLaren Regional Medical Center — Flint, MI


St. Cloud Hospital — St. Cloud, MN


Valley Hospital Medical Center — Las Vegas, NV


Saint Barnabas Medical Center — Livingston, NJ


Altru Hospital — Grand Forks, ND


Providence St. Vincent Medical Center — Portland, OR


Saint Vincent Health Center — Erie, PA


Heritage Valley Beaver — Beaver, PA


PinnacleHealth — Harrisburg, PA


Robert Packer Hospital — Sayre, PA


Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis — Memphis, TN


CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi — Corpus Christi, TX


Methodist Dallas Medical Center — Dallas, TX


Medical Center Hospital — Odessa, TX


Corpus Christi Medical Center — Corpus Christi, TX


Meriter Hospital — Madison, WI


Large Community Hospitals


Jackson Hospital — Montgomery, AL


Alta Bates Summit Medical Center — Oakland, CA


St. Bernardine Medical Center — San Bernardino, CA


Saddleback Memorial Medical Center — Laguna Hills, CA


NCH Downtown Naples Hospital — Naples, FL


Flagler Hospital — St. Augustine, FL


Boca Raton Community Hospital — Boca Raton, FL


Rockford Memorial Hospital — Rockford, IL


Hardin Memorial Hospital — Elizabethtown, KY


Western Baptist Hospital — Paducah, KY


Shady Grove Adventist Hospital — Rockville, MD


Allegiance Health — Jackson, MI


Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare — New Hartford, NY


Orange Regional Medical Center — Goshen, NY


Rex Healthcare — Raleigh, NC


Genesis HealthCare System — Zanesville, OH


Saint Thomas Hospital — Nashville, TN


Citizens Medical Center — Victoria, TX


CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System — Texarkana, TX


Providence Everett Medical Center — Everett, WA


Medium Community Hospitals


Brooksville Regional Hospital — Brooksville, FL


Oconee Regional Medical Center — Milledgeville, GA


Adventist GlenOaks Hospital — Glendale Heights, IL


Mary Greeley Medical Center — Ames, IA


Murray-Calloway County Hospital — Murray, KY


Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center — Danville, KY


Saint Joseph East — Lexington, KY


Grenada Lake Medical Center — Grenada, MS


Bolivar Medical Center — Cleveland, MS


San Juan Regional Medical Center — Farmington, NM


Olean General Hospital — Olean, NY


St. James Mercy Hospital — Hornell, NY


Rutherford Hospital, Inc. — Rutherfordton, NC


Medcenter One Hospital — Bismarck, ND


Pocono Medical Center — East Stroudsburg, PA


Cookeville Regional Medical Center — Cookeville, TN


Paris Regional Medical Center — Paris, TX


Carilion New River Valley Medical Center — Christiansburg, VA


Aurora West Allis Medical Center — West Allis, WI


Aurora BayCare Medical Center — Green Bay, WI


Small Community Hospitals


St. Elizabeth Community Hospital — Red Bluff, CA


Doctors Hospital of Manteca — Manteca, CA


Jackson County Hospital District — Marianna, FL


The King's Daughters' Hospital & Health Services — Madison, IN


St. Joseph Regional Medical Center-Plymouth — Plymouth, IN


Newton Medical Center — Newton, KS


Mercy Regional Health Center — Manhattan, KS


Baptist Hospital Northeast — LaGrange, KY


Falmouth Hospital — Falmouth, MA


Trace Regional Hospital — Houston, MS


Hannibal Regional Hospital — Hannibal, MO


Northern Montana Hospital — Havre, MT


Corning Hospital — Corning, NY


INTEGRIS Baptist Regional Health Center — Miami, OK


Gettysburg Hospital — Gettysburg, PA


St. Mary's Healthcare Center — Pierre, SD


St. Mary's Medical Center of Campbell County — LaFollette, TN


Baptist Hospital of Cocke County — Newport, TN


Ennis Regional Medical Center — Ennis, TX


Aurora Medical Center — Two Rivers, WI


About Bronson Methodist Hospital


Bronson Methodist Hospital, located at 601 John St. in downtown Kalamazoo, Mich., is the flagship of Bronson Healthcare Group, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving all of southwest Michigan and northern Indiana. With 380 licensed beds and all private rooms, Bronson Methodist Hospital provides care in virtually every specialty—cardiology, orthopedics, surgery, emergency medicine, neurology, oncology—with advanced capabilities in critical care as a Level I Trauma Center; in neurological care as a Joint Commission certified Primary Stroke Center; in cardiac care as the region’s first accredited Chest Pain Emergency Center; in obstetrics as the leading BirthPlace and only high-risk pregnancy center in southwest Michigan, and in pediatrics as one of only six children's hospitals in the state. The hospital is the recipient of the 2005 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation's highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence, and was named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals for 2005 by Solucient.


Bronson Healthcare Group is one of Kalamazoo’s largest employers and has been ranked for six consecutive years by Working Mother magazine as one of the nation’s 100 best companies to work for. Annually, Bronson provides more than $40 million in community benefits through outreach and charitable care for the un- and under-insured. Bronson also serves the largest percentage of Medicaid patients of any Michigan hospital outside of southeast Michigan.


About Thomson Reuters


The Healthcare business of Thomson Reuters produces insights, information, benchmarks and analysis that enable organizations to manage costs, improve performance and enhance the quality of healthcare. Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial, legal, tax and accounting, scientific, healthcare and media markets, powered by the world’s most trusted news organization. With headquarters in New York and major operations in London and Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters employs more than 50,000 people in 93 countries. For more information, go to thomsonreuters.com.


###