Hospital leaders: Expand the U.S. News rankings

CMOs suggest minimizing reputation's role

A new survey shows that most hospital CMOs support a broad expansion of the criteria used to rank hospitals in U.S. News and World Report's annual Best Hospitals list.

The survey—conducted by a third party vendor on behalf of the magazine—examined 287 CMOs' perceptions of the list's reputational component, the validity of using certain criteria like patient satisfaction scores, and consumer use of the rankings and data.

According to the survey, CMOs believe that U.S. News should:

  • Include evaluations of routine care: 93% of the CMOs said U.S. News should evaluate routine care for a wide range of conditions and procedures. The rankings currently focus on hospital performance for 16 adult specialties and 10 pediatric specialties.
  • Continue to consider reputation: More than 86% of survey respondents said that the magazine should continue to use reputational scores in its rankings. However, almost all of them felt that reputation should be a minor factor.
  • Incorporate certain new measures: 84% of respondents supported adding complications and hospital-acquired conditions to the rankings, while 64% supported incorporating patient satisfaction and 46% supported incorporating electronic health record usage.
  • Involve medical specialists when developing criteria: CMOs in the survey overwhelmingly supported the idea that medical specialists, hospital associations and coalitions, and the federal government all contribute to the development and implementation of hospital metrics.

In addition, 75% of the CMOs said the U.S. News rankings should encourage hospitals to improve clinical quality, and 46% said that the rankings help patients make informed decisions about where to seek care.

The survey is being presented Thursday at Mount Sinai Medical Center as part of a summit on hospital rankings (Harder, U.S. News, 9/26).

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