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100 Top Hospitals

Identifying top performers in US heart care

50 top Cardio logoThe Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals study, formerly the Truven Health Analytics study, is an annual, objective, quantitative study that identifies the nation's best providers of cardiovascular care, based on publicly available data and a balanced look at clinical, operational, and financial performance metrics. The study is a part of the Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals program, formerly the Truven Health Analytics program. Hospitals do not apply, and winners do not pay to market their honor.


Identified from more than 1,000 US hospitals, each year the award winners set new performance standards for this high-profile service line. And in addition to inspiring their own team, the winners’ leadership teams are often inspiring their peers to find opportunities to deliver better healthcare value.

2018 Award Winners Announced November 6, 2017

Our latest study provides key industry insights, including the calculation that if all cardiovascular providers performed at the level of this year's:

  • More than 8,900 additional lives could be saved
  • Nearly 3,700 more heart patients could be complication-free
  • More than $1.4 billion could be saved

We based this analysis on Medicare patients; if the same standards were applied to all inpatients, the impact would be even greater.

Specifically, the 2018 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals had:

  • Significantly higher inpatient survival than nonwinning cardiovascular hospitals (21% to 47% higher)
  • Fewer patients with complications (18% to 20% fewer)
  • Higher 30-day survival rates for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and heart failure (HF), and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) patients (0.3 to 0.9 percentage points higher)
  • Lower readmission rates for AMI, HF, and CABG patients (0.6 to 0.9 percentage points lower)
  • Average lengths of stay for CABG patients that were one day lower than nonwinners and 0.3 to 0.5 days lower for AMI, HF and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients
  • $1,333 to $5,745 less in total costs per patient case

Trends in cardiovascular care

An analysis of trends in cardiovascular care over the five-year period, 2012 – 2016, revealed:

  • Readmission rates for AMI and HF patients showed significant improvement in a large percentage of hospitals (44.7% and 27.3% improvement, respectively)
  • AMI 30-day mortality rates also showed statistically significant improvement for a large proportion of hospitals (34.8%)
  • As with last year, a strong majority of hospitals (from 80% to 88.7%) continue to hold the cost of delivering care to AMI, HF, CABG and PCI patients stable from 2012 to 2016, with no statistically significant change at 95% confidence

If you're interested in taking your hospital or health system to the next level, Watson Health offers custom reports, based on our 100 Top Hospitals studies, that can provide in-depth analyses of your organization's performance. These reports can help you clarify how your organization can achieve high performance across quality, safety, efficiency and patient perception of care.

Order your report now.

Our 2019 cardiovascular study release is planned for November 2018.