Federal Report Ranks Wisconsin No. 1 In Health Care Quality

But Report Shows Wisconsin Could Do Better On Childhood Asthma Hospitalizations, Falls In Nursing Homes

Hospital hallway
Ralf Heß (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

A federal agency tracking the quality of health care in doctor’s offices, hospitals and nursing homes says Wisconsin is doing better than all 50 states, followed closely by Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

Wisconsin moved up two notches from third place last year to first place, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The AHRQ rankings are a national validation of what we know here: Wisconsin’s local and regional health systems are delivering some of the best care in the country,” said Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding. “Across all care settings, in rural and urban communities, we are maintaining consistently high performance, while striving to set even higher standards of care. It is that combination of performance and commitment to be better that makes Wisconsin a perennial leader.”

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States are assessed on more than 130 measures. Among those, Wisconsin did well because of fewer deaths tied to HIV, less antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes and fewer cases of blood poisoning— or sepsis — after an operation.

“We see that high performance across all settings of care,” said WHA’s chief quality officer, Kelly Court, “So when patients leave the hospital they often go to a nursing home or get care from a home health agency. So they can feel comfortable the high care they got in the hospital is going to continue in those other settings.”

The report found Wisconsin needs improvement in a couple areas, including how many children go to the hospital for asthma and nursing home patients injured because of falls.