The top hospitals in America have in common a combination of collaboration, evidence-based decisions and vision, according to the latest rankings released by Healthgrades.
The annual list ranks both the top 50 hospitals in America--those scoring in the top 1 percent of hospitals for wide-ranging clinical excellence for at least six consecutive years--and the top 100 hospitals--those scoring in the top 2 percent of hospitals for wide-ranging clinical excellence for at least three consecutive years.
California leads all other states in the rankings, with 22 in the top 100 and eight in the top 50, followed by New York, with nine in the top 100 and five in the top 50.
If all the nation's hospitals had, between 2011 and 2013, performed similarly to the top 100 hospitals, nearly 173,000 lives could potentially have been saved, according to a statement from Healthgrades.
Patients at hospitals in the top 100 have a 26.4 percent lower risk of death from 19 rated conditions, according to the report. This is an improvement on the 2014 report, which found a risk reduction of only 24.53 percent. A 2013 report from Healthgrades found a much higher risk of death or complications at lower-ranked hospitals.
The top-ranking hospitals consistently outperform their contemporaries in treating six conditions, according to a separate Healthgrades report released to to the press, "Sustaining Quality Outcomes: Learning from the 2015 Healthgrades America's Best Hospitals Recipients": heart failure, respiratory failure, sepsis, pneumonia, stroke and heart attack.
The report also found three common characteristics of ranked hospitals: a culture and practice that goes above and beyond core measures required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; data-driven practices and decision-making; and high levels of collaboration and extensive cooperation between units and departments.
"The report's key takeaway is that tenacity and leadership are required to sustain superior performance and help practitioners deliver high clinical quality care," Healthgrades Chief Strategy Officer Evan Marks said in the statement.