UW Health: UW Hospital performs well in new “common care” ratings

CONTACT: Lisa Brunette

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(608) 206-7084

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MADISON- University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics met or exceeded expected performance standards in all five categories of U.S. News & World Report’s first ratings for “common care.”

Expanding on its long-standing ranking of American hospitals, U.S. News has published its first comparative analysis of hospital performance on five relatively high-volume procedures: knee replacement, hip replacement, heart bypass surgery, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. UW Hospital was rated “significantly better than average” in the two orthopedic procedures and as meeting expected performance in “isolated” heart bypass (no valve replacement or repair), heart failure and COPD care.

The ratings are based on data from Medicare administrative claims, the American Hospital Association, clinical audits and patient surveys. The measures include structure (numbers of doctors and nurses, etc.), process (steps taken during the patient’s care) and outcomes, with the latter given the most weight. The analysis also includes some measures of patient experience. The data reflect three years of performance (2010 through 2012).

The data are adjusted for risk to a certain degree. Risk adjustment is necessary because the patient mix differs from hospital to hospital and such differences can affect outcomes. Academic medical centers, for example, generally treat more patients with multiple and serious medical problems. The factors included in risk adjustment for this analysis included, age at admission, sex, year of hospital admissions, co-morbidities and dementia, Medicare status code, subgroup, method of admission and socio-economic status.

“We are pleased that UW Hospital performed well in this new rating by U.S. News,” said Vice President for Quality and Patient Safety Betsy Clough. “At the same time, we note that even the most recent data used are now three years old. UW Hospital and likely every hospital in the country have made changes and improvements to their quality and safety programs since then. We have seen substantial drops in certain infections, for example, and continue a sharp focus on reducing their incidence in our hospital.”

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics was named the best hospital in Wisconsin last year for the second year in a row by U.S News. The hospital is among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in nine medical specialties and has been ranked in the top 50 since U.S. News & World Report started ranking hospitals in 1990.

UW Hospital and Clinics, with 592 beds, is part of the UW Health system, which also includes American Family Children’s Hospital, the UW Medical Foundation (physicians’ group), the Carbone Cancer Center, SwedishAmerican facilities in Illinois and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. The hospital is a major employer in Dane County and a Level One trauma center for adults and children.