NCH Healthcare System Named Among the Nation's Top Performance Improvement Leaders by Solucient

[Naples, FL] - [May 8, 2006] - NCH Healthcare System was last week named one of the nation's top performance improvement leader hospitals by Evanston, Ill.-based Solucient®, the nation's leading source of healthcare information products.

NCH Healthcare System and its senior management team were recognized for being one of a hundred hospitals making the greatest progress in improving hospital-wide performance over five years (2000-2004). These organizations have set national benchmarks for consistent improvement in clinical outcomes, safety, hospital efficiency, financial stability and growth.

Findings from the third edition of Solucient's 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders study appear in the May 1, 2006 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

“NCH’s mission is to restore, promote, and maintain health in the people we serve. Our vision is to become the finest integrated healthcare system in the country. We began a journey five years ago to reach these goals. Collaboration and diligence have enabled us to move in the right direction, even faster than anticipated,” said Edward Morton, Chief Executive Officer, NCH Healthcare System.

“This award, which recognizes the senior leaders of this organization is the perfect compliment to other awards recently given to NCH including, “Top 5% hospital in the nation for overall clinical excellence,” by HealthGrades. How fitting that this is taking place while our System is celebrating 50 years of service to the community,” Morton adds.

"Five years of steady, well-aligned improvement means that these 100 Performance Improvement (PI) Leaders have enormously increased the value they provide to their communities," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, performance improvement & 100 Top programs, Center for Healthcare Improvement at Solucient.

The study found that PI Leaders made the following gains between 2000 and 2004:

  • They have fewer than expected complications, deaths and adverse safety events despite starting five years ago with higher than expected incidence.
  • They improved financial stability going from being barely profitable to achieving a healthy positive profit margin of 5.8%.
  • They discharge patients two-thirds of a day earlier than five years ago.
  • They increased expenses by only 8%, while their peers' expenses increased 20%.
  • They grew their patient volume 5.3 percent, while their peers lost 1.5 percent of their patient volume.

Solucient’s 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders study analyzed acute care hospitals nationwide using detailed empirical performance data from years 2000 through 2004, including publicly available Medicare MedPAR data, Medicare cost reports, and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outpatient data. Facilities recognized on the PI Leader list are represented across five hospital classes:

Major Teaching - 15

Teaching - 25

Large Community, 250+ Beds - 20

Medium Community, 100 to 249 Beds - 20

Small Community, 25 to 99 Beds - 20

The study looked at all U.S. hospitals licensed to treat Medicare patients. Nine performance measures were examined at each hospital: risk-adjusted mortality and complications, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, cash-to-debt ratio, growth in patient volume, tangible assets, and risk-adjusted patient safety index. The study used publicly available Medicare cost reports, MedPAR data, and CMS outpatient data from 2000 – 2004.

More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at