Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge

  • Location: Oak Ridge, TN
  • Award: Evidence-Based Leadership Healthcare Organization of the Month
  • Awarded: March 2010

Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge is one of the first hospitals in East Tennessee to offer cutting-edge treatments and technologies that benefit people with life-threatening aneurysms; severely damaged knee, hip and shoulder joints; sudden heart failure; and non-healing wounds.

The medical center is among the first hospitals in the nation to open a comprehensive chest clinic that has reduced the waiting time between suspicion of cancer and beginning of treatment from weeks or months to days. It was also the first hospital in the area to implement a hypothermia protocol which lowers a patient’s body temperature after cardiac arrest to reduce the risk of brain damage.

A 301-bed regional medical center, Methodist serves an area that includes nearly 200,000 people in Tennessee and Kentucky. Doctors trained in more than 30 specialties ranging from open heart and neurosurgery to orthopedics and vascular care provide care. This staff represents one of the highest percentages of board-certified physicians in the region.

Methodist is a member of Covenant Health, an integrated healthcare delivery system headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee. Its services include acute care hospitals, outpatient facilities, and specialized care in areas such as cancer, rehabilitation and behavioral health, physician and specialty clinics, and home care. Covenant Health includes approximately 1,500 licensed beds, 8,000 employees, and about 1,700 affiliated physicians. Two other sister facilities have been recognized as past Fire Starter honorees.

Nationally Recognized Care and Service

In 2009 and 2010 Methodist has received the following recognition:

  • Recognized by Forbes.com as one of America’s safest hospitals
  • Ranked in the top 11% across the nation for core measures
  • Ranked among the top hospitals nationwide by HealthInsight, a federal quality improvement organization which uses U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data to rank Tennessee hospitals
  • Cardiac metrics related to heart attack, heart failure, bypass surgery and post-operative infections that rank better than Thomson Reuters Top 100® benchmark hospitals
  • Joint Replacement Center ranks in the top 10% nationwide for overall quality of care by Patient Research Consulting (PRC)
  • Overall HCAHPS service measures related to physician and nursing care, pain control and cleanliness all rank better than both state and national ratings

Journey to Excellence Successes


  • Improved internal Employee Engagement Survey results from 3.54 in 2008 to 3.74 in 2009
  • Increased Employee Forum attendance to a 75% participation rate for two consecutive quarters


  • Improved Inpatient PRC scores from 55.5% in 2008 to 74.4% in 2009
  • Improved Outpatient PRC scores from 56.7% in 2008 to 84.2% in 2009
  • Improved HCAHPS overall quality of care scores from 70% in 2008 to 71% in 2009
  • Improved HCAHPS likelihood to recommend scores from 76% in 2008 to 77% in 2009


  • Reduced mortality rate index from 0.61% in 2008 to 0.56% in 2009
  • Improved aggregate core measure performance from 96.0% in 2008 to 97.8% in 2009
  • Reduced LOS from 5.2 days in 2008 to 4.8 in 2009
  • Increased utilization of Rapid Response Teams by 35% compared to 2008
  • Door to Balloon time significantly improved in 2009 to meet 90 minute standard - 98% for the year, and 100% every month since February


  • Made significant improvements in financial performance over the last 24 months
  • Upfront cash collections increased 12% over prior year
  • Medicare Case Mix increased from 1.68 in 2008 to 1.77 in 2009


  • Inpatient admission increased 3.8% over prior year – the largest increase since 2003
  • Significant volume increases in 2009 over prior year in all key areas
  • Grew market share by 4.5% in first six months in 2009
  • Successfully recruited a variety of sub-specialty and primary care physicians and launched 4 new services
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