With more than 130 hospitals and health systems – many of which are nationally recognized in multiple specialty areas – Minnesota boasts one of the most comprehensive, competitive and high-quality health care networks in the country.
The renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, for example, has been recognized for its high-quality care more often than any other health care facility in the nation, including a listing on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll.
Mayo Clinic, which specializes in treating the most difficult medical cases, has consistently ranked No. 1 nationally across eight specialties including diabetes, nephrology, geriatrics and urology.
Across the state, hospitals – both large and small in size – are gaining national notice as well for providing residents with access to quality, affordable care.
“I think we offer the best care possible here in Minnesota,” says Jennifer Myster, president of Buffalo Hospital in Buffalo, Minn. “Minnesota has the highest quality hospitals in the nation. I've worked at Mayo Clinic in the past, as well as at Buffalo Hospital, so I can say from experience that Minnesota has some very high-quality health care organizations that are looking at improving quality and reducing waste in our processes. I've served on several committees with the American Hospital Association and I'm very proud of the work we're doing in Minnesota to be at the lead of quality and safety initiatives.”
Buffalo Hospital, which has been a Truven Health Analytics Top 100 Hospital for four years straight, specializes in orthopedics, general surgery and OB/GYN, but recently has devoted resources to mental health and wellness.
“We're really stepping outside of our hospital walls to address social, economic and environmental conditions that contribute to poor health outcomes – particularly mental health issues,” Myster says. “We have patients who are struggling with mental health issues and anxiety issues, and we want to get ahead of that in our community and help them become more resilient.”
The program, called the Bounce Back Project, is aimed at increasing health through happiness. It was established after one of the hospital’s physicians committed suicide.
“[His death] obviously had a huge impact on the leaders and physicians and all the staff here at the hospital,” Myster says. “The response to the Bounce Back Project has been overwhelming. We have conducted more than 200 presentations in the community, and we’re promoting good mental health practices such as performing random acts of kindness and focusing on three positive experiences each night before bed. Our physicians are even promoting these techniques with their patients.”
Top 100 Hospitals
Buffalo Hospital joins several other Minnesota hospitals on the Truven’s Top 100 list, including Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids, St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Shakopee, Woodwinds Health Campus in Woodbury and Maple Grove Hospital in Maple Grove.
The state’s health-care network is a valuable economic engine, providing a powerful boost to Minnesota’s bottom line. According to the Minnesota Hospital Association, the state’s hospitals and health systems employ more than 121,000 people directly and another 100,000 indirectly and are often the largest employers in the communities they serve. Minnesota hospitals collectively contribute more than $27 billion to local economies, including some $6.7 billion in salaries.
“Health care is the largest employer in the greater St. Cloud region and is an important economic engine for central Minnesota,” says Craig Broman, President of St. Cloud Hospital. “During down economic trends, health care has still been adding positions and making capital investments, and health-care jobs offer better pay and benefits than the average employer in the region.”
Broman says St. Cloud Hospital, a subsidiary of the CentraCare Health system, has invested an “unprecedented” amount of time and money to make the hospital an even better place to work and to receive care.
“As the trusted health-care provider in central Minnesota, we have a responsibility to improve the health of the region,” Broman says. “We have achieved successful accreditation/certification of specialty programs and have recruited a number of sub-specialty providers. Numerous physicians have participated in a quality leadership academy, acquiring new change management and teamwork skills, and we have enhanced collaboration with community organizations, as well as increased our investment in community wellness.”