Robert Packer Hospital receives two prestigious national awards

Sayre, PA – Guthrie Health's Robert Packer Hospital was recently named a recipient of the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals®: National Benchmarks Award. This is the fourth consecutive year Robert Packer Hospital has been named a 100 Top Hospital. It is one of four hospitals in Pennsylvania to be named to the 100 Top Hospitals list.

In addition, the hospital is receiving the Thomson Reuters' 100 Top Hospitals: Everest Award for National Benchmarks for the second year in a row. The Everest Award honors a special group of the 2009 100 Top Hospitals winners that have achieved national benchmark performance and the highest rates of improvement over a five-year period. Only 23 hospitals in the country received the Everest Award. Robert Packer Hospital is the only hospital in the Northeast to receive the 2009 Everest Award.

"This is an incredibly exciting moment for our hospital, and all of Guthrie Health," states Marie Droege, FACHE, Robert Packer Hospital President & COO. "We are very fortunate to have a medical staff, nurses, therapists, other clinicians and support staff who actively collaborate to continuously improve patient care. To consistently achieve this level of national recognition is a reflection of the commitment, dedication, skill and experience of all our staff."

The 100 Top Hospitals award recognizes hospitals for excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, financial performance, operational efficiency and adherence to clinical standards of care. Thomson uses publicly available data to compare hospitals and select the 100 Top Hospitals. The 2009 study uses the five most recent years (2004-2008) of Medicare Provider Analysis Report (MedPAR) data, which provides information on 12 million Medicare patients, and Medicare Cost Reports. The report also includes ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare data set. In addition, it includes patient satisfaction data from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). Both these organizations rate all hospitals across the country, and the findings are publicly available online.

Thomson Reuters estimates that if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as inpatients treated in the facilities that won the 100 Top Hospitals Award, the following would occur:

  • More than 98,000 additional patients would survive each year
  • More than 197,000 patient complications would be avoided annually
  • Expenses would decline by $5.5 billion a year
  • The average patient stay would decrease by half a day

According to Thomson Reuters, there are two primary reasons that make it difficult for hospitals to win the 100 Top Hospitals award: the use of only objective, statistical information in selecting the top performers, and the increasing difficulty of performance standards that must be met. According to Thomson Reuters, winners of the 100 Top Hospitals award have successfully adopted a team approach – involving boards of directors, management, physicians, nurses and all hospital employees – to constantly measure performance throughout the hospital to make it better for patients. Research has shown that hospital-wide teamwork produces a greater likelihood of better survival outcomes, fewer complications, and lower hospital lengths of stay.

Mark Stensager, Guthrie Healthcare System CEO and Co-CEO, Administrative Affairs, Guthrie Health, said he appreciates how difficult it is to earn these designations. "Thomson Reuters is a leader in assessing the quality and effectiveness of care as well as the efficiency of hospital operations. Each year the bar is set higher and the performance criteria become more rigorous," Stensager said. "There are only a handful of elite health care systems in the country that repeatedly earn these national awards. To be recognized with these other prestigious organizations is a tribute to the hard work, dedication and collaboration of the entire hospital team. They are to be congratulated for this phenomenal accomplishment."

Guthrie Clinic President and CEO Joseph Scopelliti, MD, who also serves as the Co-CEO, Medical Affairs, Guthrie Health, believes Robert Packer Hospital has received these awards because of the extraordinary teamwork between physicians and staff. "We are very fortunate to have highly skilled and qualified physicians and employees who are committed to working closely together to create excellent outcomes for patients," he said. "This spirit of collaboration has been a part of the hospital's history and is still serving patients well nearly 125 years later."

A total of nearly 3,000 hospitals were compared and winners selected within the following categories: major teaching hospitals, teaching hospitals, large community hospitals, medium community hospitals, and small community hospitals. Robert Packer Hospital was compared with other teaching hospitals and was one of 25 facilities in the teaching hospital category to be named to the 2009 list. Nine performance measures were used to compare hospitals and select winners. These measures represent a balanced scorecard approach and are listed below:

  • Risk-Adjusted Mortality Index: A quality indicator, this refers to instances where deaths didn't occur, but were expected given the severity of the patient's condition.
  • Risk-Adjusted Complications Index: Another quality indicator, this refers to instances where complications didn't occur, but were expected given the patient's condition.
  • Risk-Adjusted Patient Safety Index: A quality measure that reflects both clinical quality and the effectiveness of systems within a hospital.
  • CMS Core Measures: Quality measures that include specific guidelines for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia.
  • Severity-Adjusted Length of Stay: A measure of clinical efficiency.
  • Expense per Adjusted Discharge: A measure of operating efficiency.
  • Profitability: A measure of management's ability to operate within its financial constraints.
  • Cash to Debt Ratio: A measure of financial strength that assesses the hospital's ability to support debt.
  • HCAHPS score: A patient rating of overall hospital performance.

Robert Packer Hospital has now earned specialty designations from Thomson Reuters a total of 16 times in the past 10 years: 6 times as a 100 Top Hospitals: Cardiovascular Benchmarks; 4 times as a 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders; 4 times as a 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks; and for the second time as a 100 Top Hospitals: Everest Award for National Benchmarks – a record unmatched by any other hospital in Guthrie's service area.

The 2009 Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success study was published in the March 29, 2010, edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. A complete list of winners can be found at . Copies of the 100 Top Hospitals report can be purchased by calling 800-568-3282.

Additional information from Thomson Reuters Healthcare is also available by calling David Wilkins at 734-913-3397, or sending an email to