MetroHealth System is Ohio’s most socially responsible hospital, according to the Lown Institute’s 2022 list of America’s most socially responsible hospitals.
MetroHealth ranked 15th on Lown’s list of 66 U.S. hospitals that all earned straight A scores in the rankings of measurements of patient outcomes, value of care and health equity. Out of more than 3,600 hospitals that were evaluated, only 66 U.S. hospitals, or about 2%, achieved “A”s in equity, care value and patient outcomes.
“That’s pretty remarkable bunch,” Lown President and CEO Dr. Vikas Saini said. The institute is a healthcare-oriented think tank focused on the transformation of the nation’s healthcare system.
MetroHealth was the only Cleveland-area hospital to earn a spot in the rankings, which were released Tuesday.
“While we do this work for the good of our patients and community and not awards, we are honored and gratified our work is recognized,” MetroHealth Vice President of Communications Mike Tobin said in an email. “Our mission remains to provide hope, health and humanity to everyone in our community.”
Other Ohio hospitals on Lown’s list of 66 top hospitals for social responsibility were OhioHealth Doctors Hospital in Columbus (No. 29), OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware (No. 34) and Aultman Alliance Community Hospital in Alliance (No. 39).
The annual Lown rankings of most socially responsible hospitals is important because hospitals are central to their neighborhoods, Saini said.
“The rankings give hospitals, policymakers, health insurance companies and community leaders a new lens for examing the country’s health care system,” Saini said.
Metro’s community-focused programs got it place on list
MetroHealth’s community-focused programs, and its commitment to serving Medicare patients, boosted it in the rankings.
The MetroHealth School Health Program provides health services to Cleveland Metropolitan School District students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MetroHealth took testing and vaccinations to Cleveland’s most vulnerable residents, such as those in congregate living facilities and homeless shelters.
The hospital system’s Institute for H.O.P.E also works to address social determinants of health with its focus on healthy families, education and research.
MetroHealth also is a major provider of services to low-income and Medicaid patients, and performs fewer unnecessary procedures than many hospitals do, Saini said.
Hospitals coped with COVID-19
For the first time this year, Lown created a tool for tracking a hospital’s COVID-19 burden. This measures the number of weeks that hospitals had more than 10% of it beds filled by COVID-19 patients, Saini said.
University Hospitals had the highest COVID-19 burden among Ohio hospitals, according to Lown.
This measurement provides context on how hospitals were impacted by the pandemic during its first year, but the measurement wasn’t factored into the social responsibility rankings, Lown said.
California, North Carolina hospitals top list
Nationally, a Willits, California, hospital ranked first on Lown’s list, with hospitals in Durham, North Carolina, and Dickson, Tennessee, in the second and third slots. Hospitals in Boston and Salinas, California, ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
Most “elite” hospitals performed well on outcomes, but continue to fall short on equity. Out of the 20 hospitals ranked highly in the U.S. News Honor Roll, none made it to the top 100 of the Lown ranking.
The Cleveland Clinic, which ranked second on the latest U.S. News Honor Roll, was 562nd on the Lown social responsibility list.
The reason for the ranking disparities is that U.S. News does not report on equity to the extent that Lown does, Saini said. The institute’s rankings report not just on community investment, but also report on racial inclusivity. When Lown reports on value of care, it includes cost efficiency.
“There’s a bunch of things that we report that nobody else does, which is why our rankings are so different,” he said.
Lown index measures inclusivity, patient safety
The Lown Hospitals Index for Social Responsibility includes 3,764 general acute care and critical access hospitals in the United States, and evaluates hospitals on 53 metrics across categories of health equity, value and outcomes.
The index measures hospital social responsibility as a composite of 53 metrics across patient outcomes, value of care, and health equity. Hospitals with “A” grades on all three categories of metrics received the highest ranking on social responsibility.
The equity category included data on inclusivity, pay equity and community benefit. Value was measured by looking at cost efficiency and avoiding overuse of hospital care. The outcomes category including clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and patient safety.
The institute looked at data from 2018, 2019 and 2020, Saini said. The institute has presented its annual socially responsible rankings for the past three years.
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