Aspirus Health named Top 15 health system for fourth consecutive year

WAUSAU, Wis. – Aspirus Health today was named among the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by IBM Watson Health™. This is the fourth straight year Aspirus has been recognized with this honor as one of the top performing health systems in the U.S. for excellence in clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, and patient experience.

This year’s 15 Top Health Systems study evaluated 324 health systems and 2,522 hospitals that are members of health systems. IBM Watson Health created this list to establish top performance benchmarks that may help other healthcare organizations achieve consistent, balanced, and sustainable high performance.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition for the fourth time as it is a true reflection of our steadfast commitment to rural health care,” said Matt Heywood, Aspirus President and CEO. “We believe a zip code should not determine the quality of care people receive and do not take lightly our responsibility to provide patient-centered care in all the communities we serve. 

According to the study, hospitals on the IBM Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems list had better results compared to their peer health systems on performance indicators intended to measure clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, and patient experience.

These include the following:

  • Lower inpatient mortality rates and fewer patient complications.
  • Fewer hospital acquired infections.
  • Higher influenza immunization rates.
  • Lower 30-day readmission rates.
  • Shorter lengths of stay.
  • Faster emergency care.
  • Higher scores on patient ratings of their overall hospital experience.
  • Lower episode-of-care expenses for the in-hospital through the aftercare process.

“We are proud of all of the hospitals, health systems and their dedicated clinicians and staff included among the IBM Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems,” said Irene Dankwa-Mullan, MD, MPH, Chief Health Equity Officer and Deputy Chief Health officer at IBM Watson Health. “These organizations demonstrate a relentless commitment to high value, patient-centered care and innovation and we applaud them for their dedication and achievements.”

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Aspirus Health is a non-profit, community-directed health system based in Wausau, Wisconsin. Its 8,700 employees are focused on improving the health and well-being of people throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Aspirus serves communities through four hospitals in Michigan and six hospitals in Wisconsin, 50 clinics, home health and hospice care, pharmacies, critical care and air-medical transport, medical goods, nursing homes and a broad network of physicians. Aspirus has been recognized for four consecutive years by IBM Watson Health as a Top 15 Health System in its annual study identifying the top-performing health systems in the country.

IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals Program’s annual studies result in the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals list, IBM Watson Health 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals, and IBM Watson Health 15 Top Health Systems. Organizations do not apply or pay for this honor or pay to promote their award. Award-winning hospitals and health systems serve as a model of excellence for the industry. Visit  for more information.

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