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Friday, July 8, 2016

Asante wins prestigious award for top rate care


Leading the Way

Asante wins prestigious award for top rate care

Story by Lynn Leissler

Photography provided by Asante


For the fourth consecutive year, Asante has been named one of the 15 Top Health Systems in the U.S. by Truven Health Analytics, an international and independent business research firm. A healthcare system does not apply to be considered, and is unaware of when the evaluation process takes place. Of the 338 health systems evaluated, Asante is one of only four chosen on the West Coast, and the only one in Oregon or Washington.

Although the 15 systems are divided into three size categories based on annual operating expenses, Truven uses the same criteria across the board and bases its findings on objective, independent research and public data sources. They feel the 15 top-performing health systems prove a health system’s quality and efficiency can improve, despite size. Truven evaluates a system’s performance in five areas: inpatient outcomes, process of care, extended outcomes, efficiency, and patient experience. According to Truven’s report, the winners of the 15 Top Health Systems award outperformed other systems in many areas. 

Among others, they saved more lives, caused fewer patient complications, followed industry-recommended standards of care more closely, released patients from the hospital a half-day sooner, readmitted patients less frequently, experienced fewer deaths within 30 days of admission, had shorter wait times in the emergency room, had lower Medicare beneficiary cost, and scored several points higher on patient overall rating for care.

“We’re not after awards and accolades,” says Roy Vinyard, Asante’s CEO. “That said, we’ve focused on patient safety and positive experience, and it’s nice to know that our effort is making a difference.” With a system comprised of three hospitals, a physician partners group of about 205 providers in 30 clinic locations, and a little over 5,000 employees, Vinyard notes that “coordinating care and creating a healthy environment is a monumental task. It takes the 5,000 people in our organization to do what we’re doing.”

Being a system with that many locations, caregivers, and employees presents a challenge, but Asante works hard to make sure care and satisfaction are integrated system wide; that a patient receives the highest possible quality of care in each facility and with every experience within the system. Vinyard also gives credit to the hospital board for their hard work and accomplishments.

Asante’s policy is to treat patients as itself or its family members would want to be treated. To that end, Asante self-monitors and assesses on all levels of care, satisfaction, safety, and organizational structure, then publishes the results internally, also making the report available to the public on their website.  

The award has significance not just for the recipients, but for the community as well. Southern Oregon is relatively isolated from a big city, so when the need for medical service arises, individuals are afforded the highest possible quality of care right here. Considering the percentage of high needs of individuals and seniors in the region, available quality care is essential.

Asante does more than look to patient care––it also wants to serve the community. Its three hospitals spent more than $106 million toward community benefits in the 2015 fiscal year, including $2.5 million on improvements for mental and behavioral health services, $50,000 to Addictions Recovery Center, Inc. for substance abuse treatment facilities, $25,000 to Mercy Flights toward the purchase of an emergency transportation helicopter, and $45,000 to the Jackson County Sexual Assault Response Team. Such endeavors aren’t measured by Truven, but they exemplify the attitude that prevails and thus lead to recognition.

While pleased with the award, Roy Vinyard is even more pleased with the quality of the health system that made the honor possible. “Were I a patient, I would want to go to and feel confident in a healthcare system that is practicing the safest, highest quality medicine possible.” 

According to Truven Health Analytics, it looks like Asante fits that description.

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