Best Hospitals 2009-2010

US News and World Report: “America’s Best Hospitals, an annual ranking of the country’s elite medical centers, is a tool for patients who need medical sophistication most facilities cannot offer. Unlike other rankings and ratings that grade hospitals on how well they execute routine procedures like outpatient hernia repair or manage common conditions like low-grade heart failure, the U.S. News  approach looks at how well a hospital handles complex and demanding situations—replacing an 85-year-old man’s heart valve, diagnosing and treating a spinal tumor, and dealing with inflammatory bowel disease, to name three examples. High-stakes medicine…..In 12 of the 16 specialties, those in which quality of care can spell life or death, hospitals were scored on reputation, death rate, patient safety, and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services; the 50 highest scorers were ranked. Scores and complete data for unranked hospitals are available as well. In the other four specialties—ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology—hospitals were ranked on reputation alone, because so few patients die that mortality data don’t mean much. Here are a few of the details: Reputation, which counted as 32.5 percent of the score, was based on three years of specialist surveys—a total of almost 10,000 physicians were asked to name five hospitals they consider among the best in their specialty for difficult cases, without taking into account cost or location. A mortality index, also 32.5 percent of the score, indicates a hospital’s ability to keep patients with serious problems alive. Patient safety, new this year, made up 5 percent of the score; it indicates how well a hospital minimizes harm to patients. And a group of other care-related factors, such as nurse staffing and available technology, accounted for the remaining 30 percent.”

The list contains many of the usual suspects, including:

1     Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
2     Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
3     Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
4     Cleveland Clinic
5     Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
6     New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell
7     University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
8     Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
9     Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
10     Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
10     Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
12     University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
13     UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
14     University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor
15     Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, Calif.
16     Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville
17     NYU Medical Center, New York
17     Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
19     Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York
20     Methodist Hospital, Houston
21     Ohio State University Hospital, Columbus

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