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Study Ranks Rush No. 5 Among Leading U.S. Academic Medical Centers

September 30, 2016
Rush among top five for fourth consecutive year in Vizient Quality and Accountability Study

Tochi Okwuosa, DO, with patient

(CHICAGO) – Rush University Medical Center is ranked fifth among 102 leading academic medical centers in the United States in a study conducted by the health care services company Vizient. It is the fourth consecutive time Rush has been ranked among the top five in the study and the eighth time since the University HealthSystem Consortium, now part of Vizient, began the study in 2005.

Rush is the only academic medical center in Illinois to receive a five-star rating and to receive the 2016 Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award. Twelve other academic medical centers from across the United States received the award.

The award recognizes Rush for demonstrating superior performance as measured by the Quality and Accountability Study, which has been conducted annually since 2005. The Birnbaum award winners were announced Sept. 29 at the Vizient awards celebration in Dallas.

In addition to 102 academic medical centers, Vizient included 124 community hospitals in this year’s study that evaluated the medical centers and hospitals on the criteria based on the Institute of Medicine’s six domains of care — safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity and patient centeredness.

Rush most improved in efficiency, perfect in equity of care

This year, Rush had the greatest improvement in efficiency, primarily driven by improvement in both length of stay and direct cost. Rush was also a top 10 performer in patient centeredness and effectiveness. 

As it has every year that the study has been conducted, Rush attained a perfect score in the equity of care category, which means that the results of Rush patients’ care do not vary due to differences in patients’ gender, race or socioeconomic status.

“It is again an honor that Rush is among the top-ranked academic medical centers in this study,” says Dr. Larry Goodman, Rush CEO and president, Rush University. “This repeated performance shows that we provide exceptional care for our patients and do it consistently year after year. At the same time, we are responding to the need for better ways to deliver care, as shown by our improvement in efficiency, while still centering everything we do around our patients.”

“This ranking is a great tribute to the highly skilled teams of nurses, physicians and the clinical and administrative teams at Rush for their relentless dedication to excellence and keeping the care of our patients at the center of everything we do,” adds Michael Dandorph, Rush president. “I am so proud of every individual at Rush, all of whom contribute to advancing the quality of care we provide to our patients, and I thank them all for their incredible contributions leading to the consistent recognition over the last decade.”

Ratings are based solely on objective data measures

Unlike other reviews of hospitals that take reputation into account or that are limited to data about patients with Medicare or Medicaid, the Vizient study is based entirely on objective data related to patient outcomes for all patients regardless of insurance. The analysis determined the rankings based on the most recently available full year of data from the Vizient Clinical Data Base and the Vizient Core Measures Data Base; the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey; and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Healthcare Safety Network.

Named for a health care leader and former member of the UHC Member Board of Directors, the Birnbaum Award honors academic medical center members that demonstrate excellence in delivering high-quality care based on five key organizational characteristics: shared sense of purpose, hands-on leadership style, vertical and horizontal accountability, a focus on results and collaboration.

The following academic medical centers received the 2016 Birnbaum award:

  • University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics
  • NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital-Rochester
  • Froedtert Health-Froedtert Hospital
  • Rush University Medical Center
  • WVU Medicine West Virginia University Hospitals
  • Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
  • Cedars-Sinai Health System
  • Houston Methodist
  • Nebraska Medicine
  • The Ohio State University Wexner Health System
  • University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers
  • University of Vermont Medical Center

Vizient was formed in 2015 as the combination of the UHC, an alliance of the nation's leading academic medical centers; VHA Inc., a national health care network of not-for-profit hospitals; and Novation, the health care contracting company they jointly owned.