Wisconsin health care ranks second highest in nation

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:10 am

Wisconsin is the second most highly-rated state in the country based on the quality of its health care, only behind New Hampshire, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Wisconsin ranked third highest last year behind Minnesota and Massachusetts and has consistently placed at or near the top of AHRQ’s ranking since 2005.

AHRQ measures health care quality in three different contexts: by types of care (such as preventive, acute or chronic care), by settings of care (such as hospitals, nursing homes, home health or hospice), and care by clinical area (such as care for patients with cancer or respiratory diseases). For more information on the rankings, click here.

Wisconsin Hospital Association president and chief executive officer Eric Borgerding said Wisconsin’s health care leaders and caregivers are committed to delivering the highest standards of patient care and to improving quality across the state in both rural and urban areas.

“The AHRQ rankings are national validation of what we know here; Wisconsin’s local and regional health systems are delivering some of the best care in the country,” Borgerding said. “Across the continuum of care, in rural and urban settings, we are continuing to perform well, while always knowing we can do more. It is that combination of performance and commitment to be better that makes Wisconsin a perennial leader.”

One of the areas in which Wisconsin hospitals scored higher than national benchmarks was on measures related to the use of electronic health records (EHR). According to the WHA, Wisconsin hospitals and health systems were early adopters of EHR technology, and the rankings are an indication that health care professionals are using EHR to improve communications with one another and with their patients.

The fact that Wisconsin has maintained a top ranking in the AHRQ measures for nearly a decade demonstrates a sustained commitment to achieving better quality and higher value health care, the WHA said.

“While these recent results are more welcome news, it is that sustained high performance that is most noteworthy,” Borgerding said. “Wisconsin’s caregivers and our hospital and health system leaders are showing a long-term commitment to the pursuit of better, more efficiently delivered care. That is good news for our patients and Wisconsin’s employers. It sets us apart and it is a real asset and advantage for our state.”

In a recent speaking engagement in Madison, Gov. Scott Walker touted Wisconsin’s high-quality, high-value health care as an economic development asset that deserves global recognition.

“All across the state of Wisconsin, there’s access to really remarkably high quality health care, some of the best not just in the country, but in the world, and you can’t put a premium on that,” Walker said. “Sometimes we take it for granted because we don’t have to travel to another state or another region…It is a key element in the quality of life that we have in the state of Wisconsin.”

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