Banner – UMC South Earns Spot on National ‘100 Top Hospitals’ List, Everest Award

Banner - University Medical Center South on the Kino Campus, 2800 E. Ajo Way, in Tucson. (Photo: David MogollonBanner - University Medical Center South

Banner – University Medical Center South in Tucson and Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix have been named to the nation’s 100 Top Hospitals list by IBM Watson Health.

Formerly known as the Truven Health Analytics® 100 Top Hospitals, this national study spotlights the top-performing hospitals in the United States based on a balanced scorecard of publicly available clinical, operational and patient satisfaction metrics and data. The study has been conducted annually since 1993, and 2018 is the first year either hospital has made the list.

Kathy Bollinger“Coming just three years into Banner Health’s 30-year academic affiliation agreement with the University of Arizona, this achievement by two of our academic medical centers is an early, positive indicator we are on the right track,” said Kathy Bollinger, president of Banner – University Medicine, the division of Banner Health operating in clinical partnership with the UA Colleges of Medicine in Phoenix and Tucson.

Each year more than 800 medical students and 1,000 physician-residents receive medical training at Banner’s three academic medical centers, which also includes Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, a nationally ranked U.S. News and World Report “Best Hospital.” The three hospitals and their clinical sites are affiliated as academic teaching facilities with the University of Arizona Health Sciences colleges—the UA College of Medicine - Tucson and Phoenix, UA College of Pharmacy, UA College of Nursing and the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. 

In addition to earning a spot on the 100 Top Hospitals List, Banner – University Medical Center South also was named one of 13 “Everest Award” winners by IBM Watson. These are hospitals that earned the 100 Top Hospitals designation and also scored among the highest of these hospitals for rate of improvement over five years. For more "Accolades & Awards" for these clinical facilities, click here.

Sarah Frost"This national recognition for Banner – University Medical Center South is a tribute to our physicians and staff and to the support of our friends at Pima County, the University of Arizona and our sister hospital, Banner - UMC Tucson. It's been a privilege to watch this hospital grow and blossom for the residents of Southern Arizona,” said Chief Operating Officer Sarah Frost, who has worked at the hospital for 14 years.

Banner Health operates 245-bed Banner – University Medical Center South, 2800 E. Ajo Way, under a management agreement with Pima County.

Steve Narang“Our evolving multidisciplinary institutes are on a journey to become a national model for academic medical centers, recognized for our delivery of value-based, highly reliable complex care in a culture of education and research to meet the needs of the communities we serve,” said Banner – UMC Phoenix CEO Steve Narang, MD. “By focusing on courageous innovation, relentless improvement and disciplined focus, our teams are creating a roadmap toward high reliability that will serve the complex needs of our patients and their families for generations to come. We are honored to receive this prestigious designation.”

The Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals® study uses independent and objective research to analyze hospital and health system performance. Top hospitals had:

  • Better Survival Rates: Overall, 100 Top Hospitals winners achieved survival rates that were 26 percentage points better than those of peer hospitals.
  • Fewer Complications and Infections: Patients at winning hospitals experienced 13.4 percent fewer complications and 18.7 percent fewer health-care-associated infections than peer group hospitals.
  • Shorter Length of Stay: Winning hospitals had a median severity-adjusted length of stay that was nearly one half-day shorter (0.4) than peers.
  • Shorter Emergency Department Wait Times: Overall, winning hospitals delivered median emergency department wait times that were 17 minutes shorter than those of peer group hospitals.
  • Lower Inpatient Expenses: Average inpatient costs per discharge were 7 percent lower (a difference of $460 per discharge) at 100 Top Hospitals versus peer group hospitals.
  • Higher Profit Overall Margins: Winning hospitals maintained a median operating profit margin, 10.6 percentage points higher than peer group hospitals.
  • Higher Patient Satisfaction: Overall hospital experience, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), was rated 3.4 percent higher for winning hospitals than peer group hospitals.

Based on the results of this year’s study, IBM Watson Health extrapolates that if all Medicare in-patients received the same level of care as those treated in the award-winning facilities:

  • More than 102,000 additional lives could be saved
  • More than 43,000 additional patients could be complication-free
  • More than $4.4 billion in inpatient costs could be saved
  • Approximately 200,000 fewer discharged patients would be readmitted within 30 days

“The country’s best hospitals have proven that an unrelenting focus on quality, supported by constant measurement against peer performance benchmarks, can drive improved outcomes while reducing costs and growing profit margins,” said Jean Chenoweth, senior vice president, 100 Top Hospitals Programs, IBM Watson Health. “Congratulations to this 25th anniversary class of 100 Top Hospitals who have helped raise the bar for health care in the U.S. and improve the health-care experiences of the people in their communities.”

The winning hospitals were announced in the March 5 edition of Modern Healthcare magazine.

For more information, please visit

About Banner – University Medicine
Banner – University Medicine is the academic arm of nonprofit Banner Health with a special emphasis on patient care, research and teaching. Included in Banner – University Medicine includes Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, Banner – University Medical Center South, Banner – University Medical Center Tucson, Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center, physician clinics and a health plan division. When you choose an academic medical center, you are experiencing the future of medicine today.

About IBM Watson Health
Watson Health is a business unit of IBM dedicated to the development and implementation of cognitive and data-driven technologies to advance health. Watson Health technologies are tackling a wide range of the world’s biggest health-care challenges including cancer, diabetes, drug discovery and more. Learn more at

CONTACT: Katie Riley,, 520-626-4828

Release Date: 
03/09/2018 - 8:45am
Original Story: