When purpose works...

Health care quality improves

We believe that every patient deserves the best care. Measurable improvements, leading-edge treatments and best practices are cornerstones of our commitment to health care quality. Our integrated approach and relentless pursuit of perfection helps to ensure quality outcomes for our patients.

National studies and demonstration projects have ranked our quality practices and outcomes among the top in the nation. Quest, Thompson Reuters, Premier, Inc., the Commission on Cancer, and U.S. News and World Report all recognized us with quality awards in 2011. The Aurora Visiting Nurse Association's quality was recognized by OCS HomeCare and DecisionHealth, which created the HomeCare Elite list of the most successful agencies in the United States.

We were also the top performing health care system in America in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration (HQID) project. Aurora received 253 awards – more than any other U.S. health care system – during the six-year demonstration project whose results were released in 2011. The HQID project was sponsored by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Premier, Inc., a national health care alliance.

The first national program of its kind, the HQID project involved 272 hospitals across the country. It provided incentive payments for top performance in six clinical areas: congestive heart failure, heart attack, pneumonia, heart bypass surgery, hip and knee replacement, and reduction of post-operative complications. Participating hospitals raised their overall quality by an average of 18.6 percent over six years based on their delivery of more than 30 nationally standardized and widely accepted care measures to patients. These improvements realized by the project saved the lives of an estimated 8,500 heart attack patients, according to Premier.

During the project's sixth year, Aurora Memorial Hospital of Burlington stood out as a high-achiever, earning 10 out of 10 possible awards. In the combined six years of results released, Aurora hospitals earned $1.9 million in incentive payments out of $60 million awarded by CMS.

Notes on quality from around the system