HOUSTON (January 17, 2012)

Memorial Hermann Health System this week was the only hospital system in Houston and one of only two in Texas named one of the nation's top 15 health systems by Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. The prominent award is based on criteria such as clinical outcomes, patient safety, patient satisfaction and operational efficiency.

Researchers from the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals® program analyzed the clinical quality and efficiency of more than 300 health systems to identify the top 15.

"We are extremely delighted and proud to receive this distinguished recognition," said Dan Wolterman, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System. "This award was based on objective public data - not reputation - meaning that our keen focus on patient safety and quality differentiated Memorial Hermann from any system in Houston, and placed us among the top healthcare systems in the nation.

"This award is a game-changer and a true testament to the outstanding clinical staff at Memorial Hermann," Wolterman continued. "Such recognition makes a strong statement that Memorial Hermann cares about quality clinical outcomes, patient safety, and exceptional patient care experiences while maximizing the cost efficiencies of care. This allows Memorial Hermann to deliver value in the care we provide our patients."

Indeed, Memorial Hermann was among the Top 5 healthcare systems in the nation with revenues in excess of $1.5 billion.

U.S. health systems with two or more short-term, general, non-federal hospitals; cardiac and orthopedic hospitals; and critical access hospitals were assessed in the study. Researchers looked at eight metrics that gauge clinical quality and efficiency: mortality rate, 30-day readmission rate, adherence to clinical standards of care (evidence-based core measures published by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), and HCAHPS patient survey score (part of a national initiative sponsored by the United States Department of Health and Human Services to measure the quality of care in hospitals). The study relied on public data from the 2010 Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data and the CMS Hospital Compare data sets.

Last year, Memorial Hermann stood out from other Houston health systems racking up numerous awards for quality and safety, including:

Six Memorial Hermann hospitals were listed among the nation's 100 Top Hospitals® by Thomson Reuters and were the only ones in the Houston area to earn this recognition. Collectively, Memorial Hermann Southwest, Memorial Hermann Southeast, Memorial Hermann Northwest and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands were awarded in the teaching hospitals category.

For the second year in a row, Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital was recognized in the medium community hospitals category. And Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital was awarded in the small community hospitals category. U.S. News & World Report published its annual list of America's Best Hospitals, ranking TIRR Memorial Hermann among the top 50 for rehabilitation for the 22nd consecutive year, at No. 5. Children's Memorial Hermann was listed at No. 30 for pediatric kidney disorders. Memorial Hermann-TMC earned four rankings: No. 30 for kidney disorders; No. 48 for urology; No. 38 for gynecology; and No. 46 for heart and heart surgery. Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital earned recognition as a "Quality Respiratory Care" facility by the American Association for Respiratory Care. Only 15 percent of hospitals in the United States have earned this recognition. Memorial Hermann Northeast achieved the recognition by meeting a stringent set of standards, including making credentialed respiratory therapists available to hospital patients 24 hours a day. Researchers from the Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals program have analyzed and reported on the performance of individual hospitals since 1993. The top health systems were announced in the January 16 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

"This year we are seeing stronger system-wide performance and increased rates of improvement, particularly among the 15 Top Health Systems award winners. Health system performance is beginning to reflect aspirations to provide more consistent outcomes across communities served," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president for performance improvement and 100 Top Hospitals® program at Thomson Reuters. "Healthcare reform appears to have stimulated the increased rate of improvement at the system level."