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St. Luke’s Named One of the Nation’s 15 Top Health Systems Five Years in a Row

By Anita Kissee, Notes and Announcements
April 23, 2018
St. Luke's Core Laboratory features state of the art technology and is one of the ways the health system provides high-quality care at a lower cost, earning recognition from Truven Health Analytics.

St. Luke’s Health System has once again been recognized among the 15 Top Health Systems in America as ranked by Truven Health Analytics, now part of IBM Watson Health.

The award not only highlights Idaho’s largest health care provider as one of the industry’s best, but reinforces that Idaho patients get some of the best care in the country.

St. Luke’s received the honor for the fifth consecutive year. That’s a rare distinction considering Truven’s stringent standards and how young the health system is compared with others. St. Luke’s has only been a system for 12 years and is already listed consistently among the most well-known, longtime health care providers, including the Mayo Foundation and Mercy. St. Luke’s is also the only Idaho-based not-for-profit health system in the state.

Unlike other rankings and awards, Truven conducts its work independently, without any influence from those health systems under analysis. Health systems do not apply for consideration, and winners do not pay to market their award. Truven researchers rely on objective, independent studies and public data.

The 2018 report evaluated more than 300 U.S health systems and hospitals based on specific systemwide clinical and administrative performance. Truven zeroed in on health factors like patient satisfaction, length of hospital stays, costs per episode of care, complications and lives saved.

The top-performing health systems were recognized for superior performance in the following:

  • Saving more lives and causing fewer patient complications
  • Following industry-recommended standards of care more closely
  • Releasing patients from the hospital sooner
  • Fewer patient readmissions and fewer patient deaths within 30 days of admission
  • Shorter emergency department wait times
  • Lower Medicare beneficiary cost per 30-day episode of care
  • Higher scores from patients rating overall care 

“The St. Luke’s team has steadily, methodically and systematically been delivering improved care and outcomes for our patients and communities for some years now,” said Dr. David Pate, St. Luke’s president and CEO.

Dr. Pate also pointed out what the facts and figures can’t adequately convey; the enormous effort of the St. Luke’s team to come together.

“Great people across dozens of locations have set aside clinic- or department- or hospital-specific practices to ensure a standardized approach that ensures our patients get the very best care, no matter which door to St. Luke’s they open.”


Contributing to St. Luke’s top-tier ranking is the work it’s done to:

  • Reduce healthcare-associated infections.
  • Incorporate more evidence-based practices.
  • Focus on achieving highly reliable outcomes with a concentration on zero harm to patients and staff.
  • Incorporate patient safety huddles.
  • Standardize care and treatment across the system for stroke, acute myocardial infarction and sepsis.
  • Improve hand hygiene.
  • Implement an electronic intensive care unit.
  • Transition to electronic health records across the system.

Dr. Pate says what’s not measured in this study is what he’s equally proud of: the graciousness and compassion of St. Luke’s caregivers.

“I can tell you from firsthand experience that the way in which members of the St. Luke’s team go about their work is a rare thing across this country,” he said.

The 15 Top Health Systems study provides hospital administrators and boards of directors with crucial, evidence-based insights into the effectiveness of health system leadership, organizational performance and management alignment. Building on the Truven Health 100 Top Hospitals® balanced scorecard concept, this research allows health system leaders to understand how they compare to both peers and national benchmarks in terms of quality of care, operations and patient satisfaction.

The public data that Truven looked to includes Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Hospital Compare website. 

About The Author

Anita Kisseé was the Treasure Valley public relations manager for St. Luke’s Health System.