Staff from Seton Medical Center in Harker Heights were treated to a free meal March 28 at the hospital in celebration of being named one of the nation’s 100 top hospitals by IBM Watson Health.

“The meal was a way to share the news and our excitement to the medical staff,” said Zach Dietze, Seaton Medical Center’s CEO. “The staff’s hard work and dedication has gone into making this award possible.”

The annual study spotlights the best-performing hospitals in the U.S. based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational and patient satisfaction metrics and data.

“We are pleased to be recognized nationally as a patient-centered high-performing hospital,” said Dr. Ed Mullen, Seton Medical Center’s vice chairman. “Our values and metrics center around our patients’ well-being. It is truly a blessing to be associated with such wonderful people.”

The study has been conducted annually since 1993.

“This recognition is for our staff and our physicians — we would fail without them,” said Mona Tucker, director of human resources for Seton. “They are the ones who delivered the care.”

The Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® study found that the top-performing hospitals in the country achieved better risk-adjusted outcomes while maintaining both a lower average cost per beneficiary and higher profit margin than non-winning peer group hospitals.

Extrapolating the results of this year’s study, if all Medicare inpatients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

More than 103,000 additional lives could be saved;

More than 38,000 additional patients could be complication-free;

More than $8.2 billion in inpatient costs could be saved; and

Approximately 155,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days.

“This recognition really hits on our five pillars of what we need to do to provide exceptional care,” said Lucy Taylor, public relations director for Seton.

Seton’s five pillars include people, service, quality, growth and finance.

“Being a part of Seton Medical Center Harker Heights has always been a source of deep satisfaction for me — the satisfaction comes from knowing you are part of a culture that focuses on quality patient care, while also caring for those who make that quality possible,” said Charles R. Day, M.D., chairman of the board for Seton Medical Center. “Every individual at our hospital contributes to our culture, and has helped to nurture it since our opening seven years ago. The end result is a team of staff who take great pride in their work, and their institution.

“The Watson award is amazing honor that justifies the pride we all have in our institution, and its culture. We all internally recognize we have created something unique and special here in Harker Heights, Day said.

“It is gratifying to receive external recognition that confirms what we are have already internalized. The prestige of the Watson award also reinforces our internal drive to constantly improve the care of our patients, and each other. We have all been given an amazing honor. Congratulations to every one of our staff. The honor belongs to each of us.”

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