Rush University Medical Center provides the highest quality care of 93 major academic medical centers ranked in the 2019 Quality and Accountability Study by Vizient, Inc., the health care performance improvement organization announced September 19 at its annual conference.
Nearly all of the nation’s academic medical centers — 95% — participated in the study. It is the seventh consecutive time that the Medical Center has been ranked in the top five, rising from fourth in 2017 to second in 2018 and now earning the top ranking in 2019.
“Across the Medical Center, we have worked rigorously year after year to make the great care we provide our patients even better, and our steady rise in the rankings shows that commitment,” said Dr. Omar Lateef, CEO of Rush University Medical Center. “This honor is not the result of individuals, or teams, or departments, but rather the shared vision and purpose of all 12,000 employees at the Medical Center to provide the highest quality, patient-centered care.”
The Vizient study of 349 hospitals, which also includes separately ranked community hospitals and smaller academic medical centers, evaluates participants’ performance based on the Institute of Medicine’s domains of care — safety, mortality, clinical effectiveness, efficiency and patient centeredness.
'Quality encompasses everything that should go right during a hospital stay'
“Quality encompasses everything that should go right during a hospital stay,” said Dr. Brian Stein, the Medical Center’s acting chief quality officer. “Hundreds of metrics measure the countless actions that lead to the best outcomes. Being able to quantify and compare those metrics against some of the world’s best hospitals help our teams accelerate what we’re doing well and identify opportunities to make everything go right, one patient at a time.”
Many health care leaders consider the annual study to be the most accurate gauge of the quality and safety of the care hospitals deliver because, unlike other ranking systems that take reputation into account or use old or incomplete data, the Quality and Accountability Study is based entirely on objective data related to patient outcomes for all inpatients regardless of insurance coverage.
Vizient uses patient outcomes data provided monthly by the hospitals themselves. The study also integrates data from other sources of publicly-reported patient outcomes data, including the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey to measure patient experience, and data provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network to better measure patient safety.
Ranking is annual, but Vizient data help Rush improve care every day
Rush in turn uses the results of the study to guide improvements in patient care. “When we get our data back from Vizient, we don’t just say, ‘it’s great.’ Instead, we look for where we have opportunities for improvement and use the data to drive change in those areas,” Lateef said.
For example, in the past year, clinicians caring for cancer patients needing bone marrow transplants used the performance data from many of the nation’s top cancer hospitals to guide the creation of the Bone Marrow Transplant Fast Track Clinic, a specialized location within Rush to facilitate frequent follow-up needs.
“Patients have labs, infusions, and see the provider all in one location while they receive continuity of care with the bone marrow transplant team. This has allowed patients to heal in the comfort of their home, but still quickly access care when needed,” said Jackie Baptista, NP, lead advanced practice provider at the clinic. “The Vizient data helped us set high goals and then better understand how to meet them.”
“This award, with its unique, comprehensive and timely methodology, recognizes hospitals that achieve results on key measures that define patient care and delivery. Members receiving this award have demonstrated high level commitment to the continuous improvement that is necessary to succeed in today’s evolving health care industry,” said David Levine, group senior vice president, advanced analytics and product management for Vizient.
Top Vizient score the latest in steady stream of honors for Rush hospitals
The #1 Vizient ranking is the latest in a consistent stream of honors for Rush University Medical Center and the other Rush system hospitals that are unique among U.S. academic health systems, including the following:
- U.S. News & World Report ranked five specialty care programs at Rush University Medical Center among the best in the country — with two in the top 10 nationwide — in the annual “Best Hospitals” issue.
- U.S. News also ranks 10 Rush University programs in the top 10 nationally, including two ranked the best in the in the latest "Best Graduate Schools" rankings.
- All three Rush hospitals received four stars in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ latest Hospital Compare overall rating in February.
- Rush University Medical Center received its fourth consecutive Magnet designation, the highest honor in nursing, in January 2016, and Rush Oak Park Hospital received Magnet status in March of that year. Rush Copley Medical Center is working towards Magnet status.
- All three Rush hospitals have received the Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, which honors intensive care unit nursing teams as being exceptional and in the top tier nationally.
- All three Rush hospitals repeatedly have received an ‘A’ grade for safety, the highest possible, from the Leapfrog Group, a nonprofit patient safety watchdog organization. Rush Copley has received A grades each of the 14 times the Leapfrog Group has rated hospitals since June 2012. Rush University Medical Center previously has received 13 A grades, and Rush Oak Park Hospital has received seven.
- The Leapfrog Group also has named each of the Rush hospitals a Top Hospital (which is a different honor than Leapfrog’s safety grade), designating Rush University Medical Center a Top Teaching Hospital five times.
- In January 2019, Rush University Medical Center became just the third health care provider in the country to achieve the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s (HIMSS) Stage 7 for the Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity (AMAM).
- The Human Rights Campaign — a civil rights organization that advocates for equality for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and/or queer/questioning — has named all three RUSH hospitals a Leader in LGBT Health Equality.
- Rush University Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital both have received the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award, which recognizes hospitals that provide an overall outstanding patient experience. Healthgrades evaluates patient experience performance by applying a scoring methodology to 10 patient experience measures, using data collected from the 32-question survey of the hospital’s own patients. Hospitals in the top 15 percent with the highest overall patient experience scores are recognized as Outstanding Patient Experience Award recipients.
Rush is an academic health system whose mission is to improve the health of the patients and the diverse communities it serves with nationally recognized health care, education, research and a commitment to community partnerships. The Rush system comprises Rush University Medical Center, Rush University, Rush Copley Medical Center and Rush Oak Park Hospital, as well as numerous outpatient care facilities. Rush University, with more than 2,500 students, is a health sciences university that comprises Rush Medical College, the College of Nursing, the College of Health Sciences and the Graduate College.