The Strong Memorial Hospital, a part of Strong Health, was recently ranked as one of the 100 Top Performance Improvement Leaders under the Major Teaching Hospitals category. The rankings were conducted by Solucient, a company that maintains the nation’s largest health care database from over 2,900 hospitals and powers health care decisions for providers and payers.In addition, Highland Hospital, also a part of Strong Health, was ranked under the list of Medium Community Hospitals category. “[This] reflects years of hard work and careful thoughts by the Hospital’s leadership,” Director of Public Relations and Communication at UR Medical Center and Strong Health Teri D’Agostino said. “And physicians’ and employees’ efforts have made our services an excellent value for patients.”Strong Health was one of a few multi-hospital systems to make the rankings for both of its acute care hospitals.To produce the list of Performance Improvement Leaders, Solucient focused on effective hospitals that developed a wide variety of performance improvements especially in mortality rates, number of complications, average length of stay, expenses per discharge, profitability and productivity. Furthermore, Solucient gathered Medicare Cost Reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review, and its own records to form their decisions. D’Agostino also believes that Strong Health’s strategy of earning consistent revenue while cutting costs led to the recognition. “We constantly monitor our revenues and make difficult decisions when necessary to ensure that our costs are not out-of-line with those revenues,” D’Agostino said.When President Thomas Jackson took office ten years ago, one of the main areas that he focused on was the quality of the UR Medical Center. Since then, the Medical Center has boasted of its superior qualities of education and practices. The Medical Center also contributes in building an excellent reputation for UR and Rochester city, according to D’Agostino.”I think it’s further evidence that Rochester has outstanding hospitals that are earning the respect of their national peers,” D’Agostino said. “This reinforces the Medical Center’s contention that health care has the potential to be a major driver of our regional economy. [In addition], patients will travel to Rochester for services and this brings money into our community,” D’Agostino added. According to D’Agostino, New York hospitals have collectively lost $1.8 billion over the past five years. Hence, Strong Health had to work hard to maintain the modest profit margin to re-invest in facilities and services that benefit Rochester community. “We’ve done this by keeping a close eye on costs at the same time that we’ve extended our reach throughout upstate New York,” D’Agostino said. Now that Strong Health has achieved the recognition by Solucient along with numerous other awards over the years, D’Agostino thinks the Medical Center will maintain this position for a long time. Though this may not seem like an easy process, D’Agostino believes that Strong Health has already gained the reputation as a regional leader in continuous quality improvement.”We’ll continue our commitment to quality care and patient safety,” D’Agostino said. “We’ll also continue our vigilance around cost-containment, constantly looking for ways that we can be more efficient with limited resources.” Aoyama can be reached at yaoyama@campustimes.org.



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