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Lowell General Hospital is Named Among the Nation's Top 100 Performance Improvement Leaders by Thomson Healthcare

Lowell General is the Only Community Hospital in New England to be to be recognized among 2006 Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders

Lowell, MA
- Lowell General Hospital has been the only community hospital in New England to be named among the nation's top performance improvement leader hospitals by Thomson Healthcare (formerly Solucient) - a leading healthcare industry performance improvement evaluation organization.

Lowell General was recognized for being one of a hundred hospitals making the greatest progress in improving hospital-wide performance over five consecutive years (2001-2005). The 2006 Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders have set national benchmarks for the rate and consistency of improvement in clinical outcomes, safety, hospital efficiency, financial stability, and growth. Lowell General and its medical staff have made major strides in increasing the quality and efficiency of services.

Achievements at Lowell General Hospital are part of a broader, national movement to improve the quality and efficiency of healthcare spurred by the Institute of Medicine's 2001 publication of "Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century," a book that described quality issues and proposed six goals for healthcare delivery.

Partly as a result of this landmark study, a number of organizations began developing programs to improve hospital patient safety, including the 100,000 Lives Campaign by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and the Quality Alliance.

Findings from the fourth edition of the Thomson 100 Top Hospitals®: Performance Improvement Leaders study appeared in the August 6, 2007, issue of Modern Healthcare magazine.

"This award is a significant milestone on our journey to be one of the best community hospitals in America," said Normand E. Deschene, president and CEO of Lowell General Hospital. "Over the past five years we have been carefully monitoring our performance in strategic services and patient care areas and implementing measures to help us meet and exceed national healthcare standards. It is very gratifying to see the hard work demonstrated by our staff, physicians and management recognized by one of the country's leading healthcare performance improvement companies."

"The leadership of the hospital and all of the people who work there have heard the national call to increase the pace of improvement for patients across the nation. Their efforts to improve performance have resulted in consistent year-over-year improvement that is among the fastest rate in the nation for its type of hospital," said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, 100 Top Hospitals programs, Center for Healthcare Improvement, Thomson Healthcare. "This means that your local hospital has found the key to continually improving the health services for the people in the community."

The winners of the 2006 Performance Improvement Leaders Award made the following gains between 2001 and 2005:

  • Went from having more patient deaths, complications, and adverse safety events than expected to having fewer than expected
  • Increased their expenses by only 6 percent, a rate significantly below cost of living increases. Peer hospitals' expenses, meanwhile, increased 18 percent
  • Grew their outpatient services more quickly and consistently than their peers.
  • Rose from being unprofitable to maintaining a healthy positive profit margin of 5.9 percent
  • Discharged patients almost a day earlier, despite increasing patient acuity

The Thomson 100 Top Hospitals: Performance Improvement Leaders study analyzed acute care hospitals nationwide using detailed empirical performance data from years 2001 through 2005, including publicly available Medicare MedPAR data, Medicare cost reports, and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outpatient data. Facilities recognized on the PI Leader list are represented across five hospital classes:

Major Teaching - 15
Teaching - 25
Large Community, 250+ Beds - 20
Medium Community, 100 to 249 Beds - 20
Small Community, 25 to 99 Beds - 20

The study looked at all U.S. hospitals licensed to treat Medicare patients. Eight performance measures were examined at each hospital: risk-adjusted mortality and complications, average length of stay, expenses, profitability, cash-to-debt ratio, growth in patient volume, and risk-adjusted patient safety index. The study used publicly available Medicare cost reports, MedPAR data, and CMS outpatient data from 2001 - 2005.

About Lowell General Hospital
Lowell General Hospital is an independent, not-for-profit, community hospital serving the Greater Lowell area and surrounding communities for more than 100 years. The hospital encompasses ten buildings, 221 beds, and 38 bassinets, and offers the latest state-of-the-art technology and a full range of medical and surgical services for patients, from newborns to seniors, including: The Regional Center for Maternal and Pediatric Care (including a Level II Special Care Nursery), in partnership with Tufts-NEMC Floating Hospital for Children; The Cancer Center; and The Heart Center.

Most recently, the hospital has expanded its Chelmsford campus in Drum Hill, creating Lowell General Chelmsford, which houses The Surgery Center, Patient Service Center, The Center for Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery, the Tufts Floating Hospital for Children Pediatric Specialty Center, and a host of physician offices.

About Thomson Healthcare
Thomson Healthcare is the leading provider of decision support solutions that help organizations across the healthcare industry improve clinical and business performance. Thomson Healthcare products and services help clinicians, hospitals, employers, health plans, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies understand healthcare markets, access medical and drug information, manage costs, and improve the quality of healthcare.

Thomson Healthcare is a part of The Thomson Corporation, a provider of value-added information, software tools and applications to professionals in the fields of healthcare, law, tax, accounting, scientific research, and financial services. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC). For more information, visit www.thomsonhealthcare.com.

More information on this study and other 100 Top Hospitals research is available at http://www.100tophospitals.com/.

Editors Note: Additional information can be found at http://www.100TopHospitals.com  under the "Media" tab.

Contacts:

Media:

Amanda MacFadgen, Manager
Marketing and Public Relations
(978) 937-6425
David Wilkins
Thomson Healthcare
(734) 913-3397
david.wilkins@thomson.com

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