Healthgrades names 2017 Best Hospitals: 5 things to know

Healthgrades, an online resource for information on physicians and hospitals, named its list of America's 50 and 100 Best Hospitals for 2017 on Tuesday.

Below are five things to know about the award and the hospitals that received it this year.

1. To determine Best Hospitals Award winners, Healthgrades examined Medicare inpatient data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review database from 2013 through 2015 for the 32 most common inpatient conditions and procedures, among other data points. Find more information here. Healthgrades' 100 Best Hospitals have all received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence consecutively for at least the last three years, while Healthgrades' 50 Best Hospitals have all received the award consecutively for at least the last six years.

2. Healthgrades' 100 Best Hospitals are not spread evenly throughout the United States: 22 states and the District of Columbia don't have a top 100 hospital.

3. Patients treated in the top 100 hospitals have, on average, a 27.1 percent lower risk of dyingthan if they were cared for in hospitals that did not receive the designation, according to Healthgrades. If all hospitals, as a group, performed similarly to the 100 Best Hospitals, on average, 179,438 lives could potentially have been saved, Healthgrades said.

4. The 100 Best Hospitals also out-perform their peers in emergency care for conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, heart attack, stroke, pneumonia and sepsis. These hospitals are five times more likely than other facilities to have received a Healthgrades five-star rating for treatment of those conditions, according to Healthgrades.

5. In addition to clinical outcomes, Healthgrades' top hospitals also excel at patient engagement, according to a Healthgrades whitepaper. Healthgrades cited various examples, such as Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, which implemented the Orthopedic Patient-Peer Partner program, an idea that came from the medical center's orthopedic patients. Through the program, patients who had joint replacement surgery at the hospital can return as volunteers to support other patients who are preparing to undergo joint replacement surgery.

"Hospitals that have achieved America's Best Hospitals distinction have sustained high quality outcomes for their patients over many years and often, offer programs that engage        consumers and their overall communities in their care," said Brad Bowman, MD, Healthgrades' CMO. "Healthcare consumerism is requiring hospitals and health systems to innovate in a variety of areas, including quality, to meet  growing expectations about the level of care, personalization and convenience."             

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