LMH named one of the country’s top 100 hospitals in new independent review

The envelope didn’t come with a little gold Oscar statuette, but word of a new award at Lawrence Memorial Hospital is creating similar enthusiasm.

Hospital officials announced on Thursday that LMH had been selected as one of the top 100 hospitals in the country by the industry’s leading healthcare information company.

“We just got an envelope from UPS with a letter congratulating us for being named to the list,” said Gene Meyer, LMH president and CEO. “I think it does validate what we have tried to accomplish for a long time.

“We felt that quality and patient safety provided a foundation we could build upon. We feel like, in many respects, those building blocks were put in place and good things have followed.”

Truven Health Analytics released its Top 100 Hospitals list in the recent edition of Modern Healthcare magazine. LMH was the only hospital in Kansas or Missouri to make the list.

Hospitals do not apply for the award, but rather are chosen based on how they scored on a set of criteria that relies on data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and other public data. The award ranked LMH against 2,921 other hospitals, comprising the bulk of all hospitals in the country.

The award judges the hospital in areas of patient safety, patient satisfaction, adherence to clinical standards of care, and several other categories.

LMH was included in the overall top 100 list, and also was listed as one of the 20 best medium-size community hospitals in the country.

The hospital has about 1,300 employees, and an operating budget of $220 million. LMH operates as a nonprofit facility, but it routinely generates revenues in excess of expenses of about $10 million a year, which are reinvested into the hospital.

“That reinvestment has been an important part of the process that allows us to continue to improve,” said Janice Early, LMH’s director of community relations.

Meyer credited the hospital’s staff, doctors and its governing board of trustees, which is appointed by the Lawrence City Commission.

“I think being a locally owned facility causes the decision-making process to be based on what is best for our community,” Meyer said.

Over the last decade, the hospital has made several expansions that helped LMH emerge from some financial struggles when Meyer arrived almost 16 years ago. During that time, LMH has added oncology services for cancer patients, surgical upgrades that allow for balloon and angioplasty heart procedures, a new emergency room, and a conversion of shared patient rooms to private rooms.

The hospital is now looking at ways to get a trauma designation that will allow a larger percentage of medical emergency cases to be treated locally.

“We can’t be all things to all people, and we need to know our limitations,” Meyer said. “But we always have believed that what we can do within those parameters, we have to do well.

“We have worked to send the message that we’re not going to do anything unless we can do it in a quality way. I think this helps validate that.”