West Florida Hospital is the Only Area Hospital to be Named on the Elite List

Pensacola, FL - West Florida Hospital has joined an elite group of hospitals from across the nation by being named one of the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals®  for the third year in a row by Truven Health Analytics™, now a part of IBM Watson Health™, a leading provider of data-driven analytics and solutions to improve the cost and quality of healthcare. In addition, West Florida Hospital is the only area hospital to be named to this prestigious list.  

“To receive this recognition for an unprecedented three years in a row means we have begun a trend of producing extraordinary results and replicating those results to achieve quality healthcare that is equal to the best hospitals in the nation,” said Carlton Ulmer, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Florida Hospital. “This is not a recognition that we tried to achieve, but instead the result of having the right mix of dedicated, compassionate physicians and staff, as well as the right processes in place that enable us to consistently deliver safe, quality care.”

In fact, transforming the health care experience continues to be an important focus at West Florida Hospital. The vision is for highly-competent professionals to work in a collaborative environment to provide patient and family-centered


care using evidence-based clinical practice standards. This collaborative team of nurses, physicians, support staff, and volunteers are all committed to the patient and family-centered model of care which has resulted in consistently high patient experience scores. In addition, the West Florida Hospital culture of safety and safe practice is embedded throughout the entire organization.

“To enhance our culture of safety, we have implemented advanced technologies to help ensure that we are delivering compassionate care in the safest environment possible,” said Karen White-Trevino, Chief Nursing Officer. “We are also dedicated to continuous quality improvement initiatives which challenge our teams as they strive for excellence in developing highly-reliable processes.”

“In addition the outstanding physicians on staff, earning this recognition for three years in a row can also be attributed to West Florida Hospital’s exceptional nursing staff,” added Jeffrey Comitalo, M.D., Chief of Staff. “They are true professionals who are committed to providing quality, safe care. And, as a physician who has treated patients at West Florida Hospital for the past 18 years, I can feel confident that my patients are going to receive the expert level of care that they need.” 

Another important differentiator is the professional development support that West Florida Hospital provides for their nurses. For example, they have created a nursing structure which includes Shared Governance, a model that features unit-based and facility clinical practice councils. Examples of these councils include: the nurse quality council, the nurse executive council, the fall prevention committee, the nursing patient satisfaction committee, and the nursing peer review committee, which all meet on a regular basis to discuss how to improve patient quality and patient satisfaction.

“Empowering our clinical staff to have a voice in the design of our processes in a collaborative way has a direct impact on our operations, clinical practice, patient care outcomes, and patient experience,” said White-Trevino. “Our whole care team is focused on decreasing practice variability which directly improves safety and quality delivered to our patients.”

The countless hours that West Florida Hospital physicians, nurses, clinicians, and volunteers spend improving patient satisfaction and quality, which results in better outcomes for our patients, can be found on the following independent websites:

  • Hospitalcompare.com
  • Qualitycheck.org
  • HospitalSafetyscore.org

By creating multidisciplinary teams, West Florida Healthcare has dedicated itself to serving as the quality leader in Northwest Florida by supporting the use of
valid, reliable data to assure the delivery of optimal patient care to reduce medical errors. These multidisciplinary teams of physicians, nurses, clinicians, educators, and support staff who follow evidence-based care practices, process improvement techniques, and systems are able to enhance the patient’s quality of care.

“The hospital industry’s ongoing transition from fee-for-service to value-based care appears to be bearing some positive results for both patients and payers,” said Jean Chenoweth, Senior Vice President at Truven Health Analytics. “The magnitude of improvement we’ve observed over the last five years is greater than any other five-year period we’ve tracked. On top of that, this year’s winners have reached new highs in performance in comparison to peers across the country, which suggests that improvement in value from hospitals is likely to continue.”

The study shows that if all hospitals in the U.S. performed at the level of this year's winners:

  • Nearly 89,000 additional lives could be saved in hospital
  • More than 61,000 additional patients could be complication free
  • More than $5.6 billion in inpatient costs could be saved
  • The average patient stay would decrease by half a day
  • More than 300,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days
  • Patients could spend 9 minutes less in hospital emergency rooms per visit

The study also found that patients at 100 Top Hospitals:

  • Had better survival rates
  • Had fewer complications
  • Returned home sooner
  • Spent less time in the ER
  • Rated their 100 Top Hospital higher than peer hospitals

The Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® study is more than a list of accomplishments; it is a method U.S. hospital and health system leaders can use to guide their own performance improvement initiatives. By highlighting what the

highest-performing leaders around the country are doing well, aspirational benchmarks are being created for the rest of the industry. The study identifies hospitals and leadership teams that provide the highest level of value to their

communities, based on a national balanced scorecard measuring overall organizational performance across 11 key analytic measures, including patient care, operational efficiency, and financial stability. The study has been conducted annually since 1993. This is the fourth time that West Florida Hospital has been recognized with this honor and the third time in as many years.

“This is special because Truven Health Analytics’ annual 100 Top Hospitals study incorporates independent public data; proprietary, risk-adjusted and peer-reviewed methodology; and key performance metrics to arrive at an objective, independent analysis of the best hospitals in the nation,” continued Ulmer. “Hospitals do not apply for consideration and winners do not pay to market this honor.”

To conduct the 100 Top Hospitals study, Truven Health researchers evaluated close to 3,000 short-term, acute-care, nonfederal hospitals. 100 Top Hospitals researchers use risk-adjusted methodologies to analyze public information —

Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the CMS Hospital Compare reports. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market this honor.

The winning hospitals were announced in the March 6, 2017, edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at IBM Watson.