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Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers named among nation's top performance improvement leaders by Thomson

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Aurora Medical Center was named one of the nation's top performance improvement leader hospitals by Thomson Healthcare, the leading provider of decision support solutions that help organizations across the health care industry improve clinical and business performance.

The Two Rivers hospital and its senior management team were recognized for being 1 of 100 hospitals making the greatest progress in improving hospital-wide performance over 5 consecutive years (2001-2005). 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. Aurora Medical Center and its medical staff have made major strides in increasing the quality and efficiency of services locally.

"We are honored to have our staff and physicians recognized for the outstanding care they provide at this hospital," said Bobbe Teigen, administrator and vice president at Aurora Medical Center, 1 of 3 Wisconsin hospitals in the list. "We're most happy for our patients who have yet another reason to choose our hospital for their care."

Efforts at Aurora Medical Center are part of a broader, national movement to improve the quality and efficiency of health care 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 described quality issues and proposed 6 goals for health care delivery.

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 4th edition of the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders study appeared in the Aug. 6, 2007, issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

"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 your local hospital has found the key to continually improving the health services for the people in the community."

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

  • Improved safety of patients and patient outcomes
  • Increased their expenses by only 6%, a rate significantly below cost of living increases. Peer hospitals' expenses, meanwhile, increased 18%
  • 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%
  • Discharged patients almost a day earlier, despite increasing patient acuity

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. Facilities recognized on the PI Leader list are represented across 5 hospital classes:

  • Major teaching - 15
  • Teaching - 25
  • Large community, 250+ beds - 20
  • Medium community, 100 to 249 beds - 20
  • Small cCommunity, 25 to 99 beds - 20

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
  • Risk-adjusted patient safety index

The study used publicly available Medicare cost reports, MedPAR data, and CMS outpatient data from 2001 - 2005.
More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

Thomson Healthcare is the leading provider of decision support solutions that help organizations across the healthcare industry improve clinical and business performance. For more information, visit

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Contact: Jay Faherty (920-496-6363)

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