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HealthPartners among nation's Top 15 Health Systems

2019 study finds top performing hospitals provide better care, lower cost

April 29, 2019

MINNEAPOLIS – For the third year in a row, HealthPartners is among the nation’s Top 15 Health Systems in the IBM Watson Health™ study. The study uses publicly available data to identify top-performing health systems. The top performers achieved better clinical outcomes, higher patient satisfaction scores and lower average costs than other health systems that were evaluated.

“Our patients are at the center of all that we do and this recognition reflects the excellent care provided in our system,” said Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners President and CEO. “Our care team is focused on continuing to set national benchmarks in quality and affordability of care.”

Compared to peer group health systems, the 15 Top Health Systems showed:

  • Fewer deaths. Overall there were 13.8 percent fewer in-hospital deaths.
  • Fewer complications and infections. Patients experienced 12.6 percent fewer complications and 9.8 percent fewer healthcare-associated infections.
  • Shorter length of stay. The median hospital stay was one half-day shorter than peers.
  • Shorter emergency department wait times. Overall, median emergency department wait times were 38 minutes shorter per patient.
  • Lower costs. Combined in-hospital and post-discharge costs were 1.1 percent lower per episode.
  • Higher patient satisfaction. The overall hospital experience rating was 2.5 percent higher for leading health systems.

The study estimates that if all Medicare hospital patients received the same level of care as those treated in the Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems facilities:

  • More than 60,000 additional lives could be saved
  • More than 26,000 additional patients could be complication-free
  • Healthcare-associated infections would be reduced by 10 percent
  • Patients would spend 38 minutes less in hospital emergency rooms per visit

IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated nearly 3,000 hospitals in 337 health systems for the 2019 study. The full study results are available here.

"The institutions recognized in the IBM Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems study are providing a blueprint for how to improve quality, lower costs and achieve outstanding patient satisfaction on a consistent basis," said Ekta Punwani, 100 Top Hospitals® program leader at IBM Watson Health.

About HealthPartners

HealthPartners is a consumer-governed, non-profit health care organization with a mission to improve health and well-being in partnership with members, patients and the community. For more information, visit

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