Sutter Tracy named top hospital

Dr. Duc Nguyen (left) and nurse Seth Van Hofwegen attached tools to a new surgical robotic system at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital for a demonstration in January. The Tracy hospital has been named to IBM Watson Health and Fortune magazine’s “100 Top Hospitals List” for 2020. 

Certain hospitals are better than others. That’s the argument put forth by Fortune magazine in introducing this year’s “100 Top Hospitals” — a group that includes Sutter Tracy Community Hospital.

Researchers analyzed 3,134 hospitals using publicly available data from Medicare. The Fortune/IBM Watson Health “100 Top Hospitals List” for 2020 was based on 2018 data.

The winners are split into five groups: major teaching hospitals, such as Stanford University, one of this year’s honorees; teaching hospitals; and large, medium and small community hospitals.

Sutter Tracy was ranked No. 17 overall and No. 1 in clinical outcomes among the 20 top small community hospitals in the country.

“We work to understand and best serve the diverse needs of our community,” said Dave Thompson, the hospital’s CEO. “Patient outcomes and patient experience go hand in hand. Our teams are extremely focused on exceeding the expectations of our patients and families while delivering safe, high-quality care.”

Sutter Tracy also made the list in 2015.

IBM Watson Health reports that people treated at hospitals on the Top 100 list had fewer complications and health care-associated infections, and they were less likely to die while in the hospital or soon afterward. They tended to get emergency care faster, go home sooner, and rate their experience higher.

The top hospitals also tended to be both less expensive for patients and more profitable overall than their peers that weren’t on the list.

Hospitals that have been on the list many times have certain traits in common, according to the researchers. Those include continuity and committed leadership, top-notch nursing, a board that emphasizes quality and safety, and practical use of innovative technology.

“From small community hospitals to major teaching hospitals, organizations on this list demonstrate a relentless commitment to high value, patient-centered care and innovation,” said Kyu Rhee, the chief health officer at IBM Watson Health, a medical doctor who also has a master’s degree in public policy. “It is clear that the COVID-19 crisis will be a catalyst for reinvention, and we believe these top-performing hospitals are positioned to emerge stronger and smarter out of this crisis.”

Truven Health Analytics, which created the “100 Top Hospitals” list in 1993, became part of IBM Watson Health in 2016, a year after Sutter Tracy Community Hospital was first named to the list.

Contact the Tracy Press at or 835-3030.

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