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(Springfield) – Another national publication is recognizing Mercy Hospital Springfield for its quality care. U.S. News & World Report has ranked it among the Best Hospitals in Southwest Missouri for 2013-2014, and noted it is high-performing in the specialties of gynecology and pulmonology. The annual U.S. News Best Hospitals rankings, now in their 24th year, recognize hospitals that excel in treating the most challenging cases.

“These rankings are a reflection of the exceptional care we strive to give our patients every day,” said Dr. Robert W. Steele, president of Mercy Hospital Springfield. “We are so proud of the expertise and the compassion of our co-workers.” Also this month, the American Hospital Association named Mercy as one of the “Most Wired” health care organizations in the nation for its commitment to creating a robust electronic health record. Mercy has spent more than $500 million and nine years making sure that patients who go to one Mercy doctor have their records instantly available throughout the Mercy system. It makes for better coordination of care and better outcomes for patients.

Another way Mercy Springfield coordinates care for its patients is through the integration of its physicians, meaning doctors work for the hospital system. In its latest list of the Top Integrated Health Systems in the country, Modern Healthcare magazine listed Mercy Springfield as number one. The high level of integration and the use of the electronic health record, along with a proven track record of improving the health of patients while lowering costs, were key when the government named Mercy Hospital Springfield and Mercy Clinic in the Springfield area as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) – one of only four in the state of Missouri. ACOs were established to improve the health of Medicare beneficiaries while cutting costs and saving taxpayer money. Mercy plans to apply what it learns through the ACO program to all patients, with a goal of keeping them healthier so they won’t need as many health care services.

Patients appear to like the progressive thinking. This is the ninth year Mercy Hospital Springfield has received the Consumer Choice Award. Researchers from the National Research Corporation, the largest consumer survey on health care in the U.S., asked Springfield consumers which local hospital they liked best, specifically asking about overall quality, image and reputation, and quality of doctors and nurses. They ranked Mercy Hospital Springfield as their first choice for best overall quality, best image/reputation, best doctors and best nurses.

Despite the accolades, Mercy leaders recognize there is always more work to be done. “Our promise to the community is that we will not rest,” said Dr. Steele. “We will relentlessly pursue our goal to get health care right.”

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