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Texas hospitals abound in Lown top hospitals index

It's the ranking and measuring of particular metrics that the Lown Institute uses to differentiate its rankings from other top hospitals lists.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

JPS Health Network based in Fort Worth, Texas came out top-of-the-pack in the Lown Institute Hospital Index's list of the nation's top hospitals, released this week. It's one of four Texas hospitals that cracked the top 10, the largest representation by any single state.

JPS scored an A+ in civic leadership, and A's in value of care and patient outcomes, placing it first among 216 hospitals in the state and tops nationally among 3,282 hospitals ranked. The facility scored especially high marks when it came to inclusivity, community benefit, clinical outcomes and avoiding overuse.

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It's the ranking and measuring of particular metrics that the Lown Institute uses to differentiate its rankings from other, similar top hospitals lists. Value of care, civic leadership, and patient outcomes including safety and mortality rates are all factored into an aggregate score, with individual scores broken down by each hospital.

To determine civic leadership scores, Lown looked at pay equity (the difference in compensation of hospital executives compared to healthcare workers without advanced degrees), community benefit (the extent to which hospitals are investing in community health), and inclusivity (the extent to which a hospital's patient population reflects the demographics of the community in which it is located, based on race, income, and education levels).

Patient outcomes were determined by looking at clinical outcomes (how well the hospital keeps patients alive and prevents return trips to the hospital), patient safety (how well hospitals avoid preventable patient safety errors), and patient satisfaction (aspects of the hospital experience as reported by patients).

Hospitals that cracked the top 10 typically scored highly in multiple metrics. The other Texas hospitals making the Top 10 include Seton Northwest Hospital in Austin (fourth), Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center in Houston (ninth), and Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas (tenth).

Despite the strong rankings, other states fared better when it came to their best average Lown rankings, including Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Maryland, Ohio and Rhode Island.

The full list can be found here.

THE LARGER TREND

This methodology resulted in rankings that were substantially different when compared to other top hospitals lists, such as U.S. News and World Report, which ranked Minnesota-based Mayo Clinic as the nation's top hospital last year. In the Lown list, Mayo's highest-rated facility in Albert Lea was ranked just 81st.

The differences, according to Lown, are attributable to hospital business models that center around attracting wealthy patients from outside their immediate geographic area, while boosting patient satisfaction metrics through top-shelf amenities such as private rooms and specialized procedures.

While Lown stressed that such facilities are typically high-quality, they often make decisions on outcomes, for example, at the expense of equity.

"The data show that gaps between a hospital's clinical results and its performance in the community are sometimes very wide, which can contribute to disparities in care and put certain communities at risk," Lown Institute President Vikas Saini said in a statement.

The Lown Institute Hospital Index gets no funding from outside sources and is a new hospital ranking from the Lown Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, according to the Lown Institute.

Twitter: @JELagasse
Email the writer: jeff.lagasse@himssmedia.com