Fortune partnered with IBM Watson Health on the 2021 ranking of the 100 Top Hospitals and the 15 Top Health Systems in the U.S. To conduct the Fortune/IBM Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals study, IBM Watson Health researchers evaluated 2,675 short-term, acute care, non-federal U.S. hospitals on various performance indicators in four main categories: clinical outcomes, operational efficiency, patient experience, and financial health.
This year a fifth category was included: how hospitals engaged with the goal of improving the wellbeing of the entire community outside their walls. This “community health” measure holds medical centers accountable for their central role in the communities in which they operate. For this measure, IBM Watson Health and Fortune teamed up with researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity and Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to survey three fundamental components of hospital-community engagement.
For a separate ranking on health systems, the team also evaluated 324 such health organizations along with 2,522 hospitals that are members of health systems. All research was based on the following public data sets: Medicare cost reports, Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MEDPAR) data, and core measures and patient satisfaction data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospital Compare website.