Hospitals do not apply for the award, which is determined through a scoring system developed by Truven, a company that does research to improve the cost and quality of health care.
According to Truven, "only public-data sources are used for calculating study metrics. This eliminates bias, ensures inclusion of all hospitals and facilitates consistency of definitions and data. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market this honor."
Rob Montagnese, president and CEO of Licking Memorial Health Systems, said the study is objective, not subjective, which is why the hospital is pleased to have received the award for 12 of the 21 years Truven has published the study.
"The award is based off of data that all hospitals are required to submit to various agencies and the federal government," Montagnese said. "That data that is required to be submitted is taken by Truven Health Analytics to be measured and compared."
Licking Memorial Health Systems is listed in the study as a medium community hospital and is the only medium community hospital that has received the award for 12 years.
"In the history of the award, there are only five hospitals in the country that have won more than we have in any category and several of those are in the major teaching (hospital) category," Montagnese said. "There's not a community hospital of any size -- small, medium or large -- that has won more than we have.
"I'm proud of our employees and the medical staff, and I think it shows a great deal of consistency in our ability to perform at a high level for a long period of time. It speaks volumes about what we do for patients."
Those with more awards listed in the 2014 study are: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital of Park Ridge, Ill., which has received the award 15 years; Vanderbilt University Medical Center of Nashville, which has received the award 14 years; and Saint Thomas West Hospital of Nashville, which has received the award 13 years. All three are listed as teaching hospitals.
The study uses "financial stability, operational efficiency, patient safety, quality inpatient and outpatient care and customer perception of care" when considering which hospitals to name in the top 100.
The study said the hospitals differ from counterparts by "having a lower mortality index considering patient severity, having fewer patient complications, avoiding adverse patient safety events, following accepted care protocols, having lower 30-day re-admission and mortality rates, keeping expenses low, sending patients home sooner and scoring better on patient satisfaction surveys."
The study is available at 100tophospitals.com.