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Sentara Healthcare named a top 15 health system by IBM Watson Health



Sentara Healthcare has been named a Top 15 Health System for 2018 by IBM Watson Health. The IBM Watson Health Top 15 Health Systems list is divided into three categories – large, medium and small systems – with five winners in each. Sentara was included in the large system category. 

The Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study, formerly the Truven Health Analytics study, delivers a rigorous, aggregate analysis of individual hospital metrics into system-level data. That data is then used to identify the 15 best health systems in the nation and develop national benchmarks for the industry. Winning health systems demonstrated better outcomes in mortality, complications, healthcare associated infections (HAIs), length of stay (LOS), emergency department (ED) wait times, episode costs and patient experience. The study relied on public data from the Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR), Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Hospital Compare datasets, and Medicare cost reports.


In addition to the data and metrics used to evaluate health systems, Sentara was recognized for its success in areas such as readmissions, infection reduction and VTE prevention, as well as its system-wide process, Clinical Performance Improvement™. This innovative process standardizes clinical and accessibility improvements across all 12 Sentara Healthcare hospitals and uses a joint council of physician and executive leaders to expedite decision-making.


This year's study finds that the country's top-performing health systems are achieving better clinical and operational performance through more consistent care among member hospitals. The 2018 Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study features a quantitative measure of member hospital alignment, which evaluates the consistency of clinical and operational performance among the individual hospitals within each health system.


IBM Watson Health’s annual, quantitative study uses objective, independent research and public data sources. Health systems do not apply for consideration, and winners do not pay to market their award. To qualify for consideration, a health system must have at least two short-term, acute care, nonfederal U.S. hospitals that report a parent or related organization in their cost report. This year’s 15 Top Health Systems study evaluated 338 health systems and more than 2,400 member hospitals to identify the 15 U.S. health systems with the highest overall achievement on a balanced scorecard. The scorecard is based on the IBM Watson Health ‘100 Top Hospitals’ national balanced scorecard methodologies which focus on five performance domains: inpatient outcomes, process of care, extended outcomes, efficiency, and patient experience.