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WakeMed News Releases

November 20, 2019

2020 Study Finds Top Performing Hospitals Provide Improved Patient Care Than Peers

RALEIGH, N.C. (November 19, 2019) – WakeMed was today named one of the nation’s 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals by IBM Watson HealthTM. WakeMed Raleigh Campus is home to the WakeMed Heart Center, a trusted cardiac leader and innovator for more than 50 years.

The study spotlights the top-performing cardiovascular hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational and patient satisfaction metrics and data.

This study is part of the IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® program, using independent and objective research to analyze hospital and health system performance in key clinical and operational areas for selected cardiovascular procedures and medical care. Indicators include: risk-adjusted inpatient mortality index, risk-adjusted complications index, mean 30-day risk-adjusted mortality rate, mean 30-day risk-adjusted readmission rate, severity-adjusted length of stay, case mix- and wage-adjusted inpatient cost per case, 30-day episode payment, and adjusted operating profit margin. The study has been conducted annually since 1998.

“Our heart and vascular programs have earned top honors for quality, success and for implementing a higher standard of care and services. We are pleased to be recognized for our performance, cardiovascular care excellence and our unwavering commitment to provide an exceptional patient and family experience,” said Judson B. Williams, MD, cardiovascular surgeon and executive medical director of WakeMed Heart & Vascular. “The WakeMed Heart Center represents the best training, care processes and the latest technologies with unrivaled commitment from a diverse interdisciplinary team.”

Based on the results of this year’s study, we extrapolate that if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

  • More than 11,000 additional lives could be saved;
  • More than 2,800 additional heart patients could be complication-free; and
  • Over $1.5 billion could be saved.

“By finding ways to continuously improve and innovate, the winners of our 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study are identifying opportunities to deliver healthcare value to patients, communities, and payers,” said Ekta Punwani, MHA, 100 Top Hospitals® program leader at IBM Watson Health. “The top performing hospitals demonstrated better clinical care and were more efficient than their peers at delivering this care.”

WakeMed is the trusted, preferred provider of heart care in Wake County. WakeMed offers a wide range of services and procedures to keep the community heart healthy, from medical management to the most advanced diagnostics and minimally invasive procedures and surgeries. For more information about WakeMed’s cardiovascular experts, its innovative heart and vascular services and the Heart Care Plus+ collaboration, visit wakemed.org/heart-and-vascular.

The winning hospitals were announced in an IBM press release on November 19.

For more information, visit www.100tophospitals.com.

About WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Serving the community since 1961, WakeMed is a nationally recognized, private, not-for-profit health system founded and based in Raleigh, N.C. The largest health system in Wake County, WakeMed exists to improve the health and well-being of our community by providing outstanding, compassionate, patient- and family-centered care to all.

The 941-bed system comprises a network of facilities throughout the Triangle area, including three full-service hospitals, all delivering health and wellness care and innovative services that bring added value to the communities we serve. WakeMed is a leader in heart and vascular care, women’s and children’s services, emergency medicine and trauma care, physical rehabilitation, orthopaedics and neurosciences.

Specialty facilities include the WakeMed Heart Center, a dedicated Children’s Hospital and Children’s Emergency Department, Women’s Pavilion and Birthplace, Women’s Hospital at WakeMed North, WakeMed Rehabilitation Hospital and Wake County’s only Level I Trauma Center.

WakeMed’s team of more than 9,700 employees, 1,500 volunteers, 1,300 affiliated physicians and 525 employed physicians and providers represent the best minds and the biggest hearts to ensure the finest quality in health care and community health.

For more information, visit www.wakemed.org or follow WakeMed on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About IBM Watson Health

Watson Health is a business unit of IBM that is dedicated to the development and implementation of cognitive and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest health care challenges, including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more. Learn more.

IBM Watson Health Media Contact

Rachel Ford Hutman





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