UNM Trauma Center
A UNM trauma team at work in the state's only Level I Trauma Center.
Credit: John Arnold

University of New Mexico Hospital is among the top hospitals in the nation when it comes to high quality clinical care, according to a new report by the Denver-based company Healthgrades.

UNM Hospital was one of 260 hospitals nationwide and one of just two in New Mexico to receive the group’s 2016 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence.

Healthgrades, an online resource for information about physicians and hospitals, evaluated risk-adjusted mortality, complication rates and other clinical outcomes at some 4500 hospitals across the country. The group of award recipients represents the top 5 percent of hospitals in the nation, according to a company news release

“Despite the many challenges UNMH is facing with capacity issues and aging facilities, we have been able to maintain the highest level of care for the people of New Mexico,” said Paul B. Roth, MD, UNM chancellor for health sciences. “This award recognizes the tireless work and dedication of our faculty physicians, nurses and other clinical staff.”

The Healthgrades award recipients, as a group, had a 26.5 percent lower risk-adjusted mortality rate across 19 procedures and conditions where mortality was the clinical outcome, compared to all other hospitals, the company said. During the same period, if other hospitals performed at the same level as the award recipients, more than 158,000 lives could of have been saved. For example, patients treated at a Distinguished Hospital of Clinical Excellence had, on average, a 32 percent lower risk of dying from heart failure than if treated at a hospital that did not earn the distinction, according to Healthgrades. 

“The Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence recipients clearly place a premium on producing great clinical outcomes and stand out from their peers in their overall clinical performance,” said Evan Marks, chief strategy officer for Healthgrades.

The 2016 study period evaluated inpatient stays from 2012-2014 and included federal data pulled from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. UNMH and Presbyterian Hospital were the only two New Mexico hospitals to receive the 2016 distinction.