RPH Again Named One of the Nation's 100 Top Hospitals

Guthrie's Robert Packer Hospital was recently named one of the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Healthcare®. This is the second consecutive year that Robert Packer Hospital has received this prestigious Thomson award.

The award recognizes hospitals that have achieved excellence in clinical outcomes, patient safety, financial performance, efficiency, and growth in patient volume. Robert Packer Hospital is one of only two hospitals in Pennsylvania to receive the designation this year; no New York hospitals were named to this year's list.

Mark Stensager, Guthrie Healthcare System CEO and Co-CEO, Administrative Affairs for Guthrie Health, has an appreciation of how difficult it is to earn this designation. "During my career I have had the opportunity to work at a number of excellent health care systems across the country. These experiences and my involvement in national health care associations have given me a sense of how challenging it is for a hospital to meet the increasingly rigorous criteria necessary to make this list," he said. "To receive this honor two years in a row 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 this award 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 nearly125 years later."

Thomson outlines two primary reasons that make it difficult for hospitals to win the 100 Top National 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, winners of its 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 a better place for patients to be treated. Research has shown that hospital-wide teamwork produces a greater likelihood of better survival outcomes, fewer complications, and lower hospital lengths of stay.

Thomson uses publicly available data to compare hospitals and select the 100 Top Hospitals. The 2007 award used two years (2005 and 2006) of Medicare Provider Analysis Report (MedPAR) data, which provides information on 12 million Medicare patients; the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Compare data sets; and the Medicare Cost Report from 2006.

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 teaching hospitals to be named to the 2007 list. Thomson uses eight performance measures to compare hospitals and select winners. These measures represent a balanced scorecard approach and are listed below. Of note, the scores for RPH were better than the median score of the winners for six of these eight measures:

  • 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.

In addition to earning this most recent Thomson award as a 100 Top Hospital twice, the hospital has earned specialty designations from Thomson a total of 10 times in the past eight years, three times as a 100 Top Hospitals Performance Improvement Leader and five times as a 100 Top Cardiovascular Hospital – a record unmatched by any other hospital in Guthrie's service area.

The 2007 Thomson 100 Top Hospitals: National Benchmarks for Success study was published in the March 17, 2008, edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. A complete list of winners can be found at www.100tophospitals.com . Copies of the 100 Top Hospitals report can be purchased by calling 800-568-3282. Additional information from Thomson Healthcare is also available by calling David Wilkins at 734-913-3397, or sending an email to david.wilkins@thomson.com.