HOUSTON (August 09, 2007)

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center was named this week as one of the nation's top 100 leaders in performance improvement, one of just 15 academic medical centers to have earned the distinction. The award was given by Thomson Healthcare, the leading provider of decision support solutions that help organizations across the healthcare industry improve clinical and business performance.

Under the leadership of CEO Juanita Romans, the management team at Memorial Hermann-TMC was recognized for being one of the 100 hospitals in the country that have made the greatest progress in improving hospital-wide performance over five consecutive years (2001-2005). According to the award criteria, the 2006 Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders have set national benchmarks for the rate and consistency of improvement in clinical outcomes, safety, hospital efficiency, financial stability, and growth. Romans has led Memorial Hermann-TMC to improve hospital-wide performance consistently, year-over-year, at a substantially faster rate than peers across the U.S.

"This well deserved award is very special since it is an external validation, based on quantifiable data, of the outstanding quality of care provided by Memorial Hermann-TMC," said Memorial Hermann President and CEO Dan Wolterman. "It is a distinct honor being the only hospital in Houston on the Top 100 Hospital list."

"This award recognizes our achievements based on hard data measures," Romans said. "Our leadership team has worked hard to promote a culture of performance improvement and led our hospital staff to make those improvements year after year at an incredible rate."

Efforts at Memorial Hermann-TMC are part of a broader, national movement to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare spurred by the Institute of Medicine's 2001 publication of "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century," a book that that described quality issues and proposed six goals for healthcare delivery.

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Partly as a result of this landmark study, a number of organizations began developing programs to improve hospital patient safety, including the 100,000 Lives Campaign by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the Quality Alliance.

Findings from the fourth edition of the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders study appear in the August 6, 2007, issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

"I am proud of Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center for being recognized as a Top 100 leader in performance improvement. I am also very pleased with the partnership between the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston," said James T. Willerson, MD, President of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "This award is a great tribute to the dedication of our physicians and our commitment to quality."

"The leadership of the hospital and all of the people who work there have heard the national call to increase the pace of improvement for patients across the nation. Their efforts to improve performance have resulted in consistent year-over-year improvement that is among the fastest rate in the nation for its type of hospital," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, 100 Top Hospitals programs, Center for Healthcare Improvement, Thomson Healthcare. "This means that Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center has found the key to continually improving the health services for the people in the community."

About the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders Study and Awards Program

The Thomson 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders study analyzed acute care hospitals nationwide using detailed empirical performance data from years 2001 through 2005, including publicly available Medicare MedPAR data, Medicare cost reports, and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outpatient data. The study looked at all U.S. hospitals licensed to treat Medicare patients. Eight 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, and risk-adjusted patient safety index. The study used publicly available Medicare cost reports, MedPAR data, and CMS outpatient data from 2001 - 2005.

The winners of the 2006 Performance Improvement Leaders Award made the following gains between 2001 and 2005:

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  • Went from having more patient deaths, complications, and adverse safety events than expected to having fewer than expected
  • Increased their expenses by only 6 percent, a rate significantly below cost of living increases. Peer hospitals' expenses, meanwhile, increased 18 percent
  • Grew their outpatient services more quickly and consistently than their peers.
  • Rose from being unprofitable to maintaining a healthy positive profit margin of 5.9 percent
  • Discharged patients almost a day earlier, despite increasing patient acuity

More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at www.100tophospitals.com.

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