(1/20/12) – McLeod Regional Medical Center is one of the top performing hospitals in the country for 2011, and has been recognized for its participation in a national project that resulted in saving lives and reducing healthcare spending by more than $4 billion.
Over the past three years, 278 hospitals including McLeod participated in a national collaborative led by Premier Healthcare Alliance called QUEST®. As part of this initiative, these top performing hospitals saved an estimated 24,820 lives and reduced healthcare spending by nearly $4.5 billion.
The results from the third year of the QUEST project were announced on January 18, 2012, in a Capitol Hill briefing. Donna Isgett, Senior Vice President of Corporate Quality and Safety for McLeod Health, was selected by McLeod and Premier to present McLeod quality improvement outcomes to the congressional members. McLeod is among the hospitals that have optimized acute care and crossed the Top Performance Threshold in all three measured categories: Mortality, Evidence-based care and Cost, according to Premier.
"McLeod and the QUEST collaborative gave us the ability to look at our organization and our work differently," said Isgett. "Initially, when the McLeod Quality and Safety team reviewed our data we thought we were doing well, but when we compared ourselves to others we realized we could continue to improve. For mortality, the team talked to other top performers to learn how they tested, analyzed and measured their data to come up with better processes. A committee of McLeod physicians, led by Dr. Alan Blaker, analyzed the data and implemented improvement processes to replicate those high performance scores to save lives at McLeod. Now, McLeod is sharing its own learnings and best practices with others."
Susan DeVore, Premier president and CEO said, "QUEST hospitals show what’s truly possible in healthcare. Together they have proven that top performance can be achieved by any hospital, no matter where they are, what their patient mix or their reimbursement levels. QUEST is discovering the keys to providing the best quality care and teaching others how to replicate their accomplishments so that we don’t have pockets of excellence — we have system-wide excellence."
In fact, McLeod and other QUEST hospitals are exceeding current industry trends and national averages. For example:
• When compared to a national group with similar characteristics, the mortality rate among QUEST hospitals was 29 percent lower than national averages, according to Medicare data from federal fiscal year 2009, the most recent year of this information.
• Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics suggests that QUEST hospital inpatient costs only increased by about 2 percent above the rate of inflation over three years (2008-2010). In contrast, non-participant costs increased by an average of 17 percent above inflation.
Through the cost savings from these initiatives, McLeod and other not for profit hospitals in the QUEST collaborative can reinvest savings for care improvements in their local communities.
Spanning 31 states, QUEST includes a nationwide sample of urban/rural, large/small, teaching/non-teaching and safety net hospitals. Together the hospitals volunteered to transparently share data and define a common framework with consistent measures of top performance — something that has never existed in healthcare. During the first three years, hospitals tracked and compared their performance levels to match or exceed the top 25 percent of hospitals in all categories except cost, which was set at the top 50 percent. To reach these standards, hospitals like McLeod needed to:
• Reduce mortality at least 18 percent;
• Reduce the average cost of care;
• Reliably deliver all evidence-based care measures to patients in the areas of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical care at least 84 percent of the time;
• Improve the hospital experience so that patients favorably rate their stay and would recommend the facility to others; and
• Eliminate preventable harm events.
Most recently, McLeod and other QUEST hospitals have been driving improvement in patient experience and are already ahead of national averages.
About McLeod Health
Founded in 1906, McLeod Health is a locally owned and managed, non-profit organization supported by the strength of nearly 750 members on the medical staff and more than 1,100 full time nurses. In addition to its modern facilities, premier technology and equipment, McLeod is dedicated to improving the health of the residents of those communities served. McLeod Health is composed of more than 4,900 full time employees and over 50 physician practices in eight counties.
McLeod Health has been recognized numerous times for its outstanding work in quality care, best practices and clinical outcomes as well as its physicians’ dedication to quality improvement. The efforts to improve quality and patient safety are physician led, data-driven and evidence-based. Because of this commitment by strong, active physician and staff participation, McLeod has received national recognition for quality including the 2010 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize. Awarded annually to one hospital in the country, McLeod is the first hospital in South Carolina to receive this prestigious honor since the inception of the national Quest for Quality Prize in 2002.
About the Premier healthcare alliance, Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient
Premier is a performance improvement alliance of more than 2,500 U.S. hospitals and 80,000-plus other healthcare sites using the power of collaboration to lead the transformation to high quality, cost-effective care. Owned by hospitals, health systems and other providers, Premier maintains the nation’s most comprehensive repository of clinical, financial and outcomes information and operates a leading healthcare purchasing network. A world leader in helping deliver measurable improvements in care, Premier has worked with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service North West to improve hospital performance. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Premier also has an office in Washington.