How well can we identify the high-performing hospital?

Med Care Res Rev. 2011 Jun;68(3):290-310. doi: 10.1177/1077558710386115. Epub 2010 Dec 13.


Sharing lessons from high-performing hospitals facilitates quality improvement. High-performing hospitals have usually been identified using a small number of performance measures. The objective was to analyze how well 1,006 hospitals performed across a broader range of measures. Five measures were developed from publicly available data: adherence to processes of care, 30-day readmission rates, in-hospital mortality, efficiency, and patient satisfaction. For a subset of hospitals, the authors included two survey-based assessments of patient care quality, one by chief quality officers and one by frontline clinicians. In general, there was little correlation among the publicly available measures (r ≤ .10), though there was notable correlation between objective measures and survey-based measures (r = .23). Hospitals that performed well on a composite measure calculated from the publicly available measures were often not in the top quintile on most individual measures. This highlights the challenge in identifying high-performing hospitals to learn organizational-level best practices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Hospitals / standards*
  • Humans
  • Models, Statistical
  • Patient Care / standards*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / methods*
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care / standards
  • Quality Improvement
  • United States