When it comes to quality, what distinguishes top-performing health care systems from lower-performing organizations? According to data from the Health Research & Educational Trust, the answer is nothing. Researchers interviewed leaders from systems that represented a broad range of quality scores and learned that factors found in top-performing systems also existed in at least some of the lower-performing organizations. Additionally, the size of the system (defined as having two or more general acute care hospitals) had no bearing on quality. However, researchers noted top-performing systems had more hospital leaders with financial goals aligned with system performance and linked financial incentives to quality goals for a higher percentage of their staff.

For more information on AHA data, contact the AHA Resource Center at rc@aha.org or 312-422-2050.

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