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August 8, 2017

The 152 'Best Hospitals,' according to US News

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    Congratulations to the Advisory Board members recognized on U.S. News' 'Best Hospitals' list

    U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its 28th annual Best Hospitals rankings, with Mayo Clinic taking the top spot on the Honor Roll for the second year in a row.

    For the 2017-2018 list, U.S. News evaluated more than 4,500 hospitals and health care facilities across 16 specialties and nine procedures and conditions. In the latest list, 152 hospitals scored high enough to be included in the rankings. The publication also named 20 facilities to its "Honor Roll" for achieving strong performance in multiple specialties.

    How hospitals were ranked

    U.S. News ranked four of the 16 specialties—ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology—by reputation, based on three years' worth of surveys of specialists. According to U.S. News, hospitals that ranked as "Best Hospitals" for these specialties received nominations from an average of at least 5 percent of survey respondents.

    For the other 12 specialties, researchers determined rankings were largely based on federal and industry data, although they also incorporated results from the reputational survey. The 12 data-driven specialties include:

    • Cancer;
    • Cardiology & heart surgery;
    • Diabetes and endocrinology;
    • Ear, nose, & throat;
    • Gastroenterology & GI surgery;
    • Geriatrics;
    • Gynecology;
    • Nephrology;
    • Neurology & neurosurgery;
    • Orthopedics;
    • Pulmonology; and
    • Urology.

    To qualify for this year's 12 data-driven lists, hospitals had to be a teaching hospital; be affiliated with a medical school; have at least 200 beds; or have at least 100 beds and offer four or more types of medical technology considered by U.S. News to be key to high-quality care, such as PET/CT scanners. Out of the 4,658 hospitals and health care facilities in U.S. News' initial pool, 2,255 met at least one of those standards.

    To achieve a ranking in a specific specialty, hospitals had to meet a volume/discharge requirement that varied by specialty or—if a hospital did not meet the volume/discharge requirement— hospitals had to have received nominations from at least 1 percent of the specialists responding to the reputational surveys in 2015, 2016, and 2017.

    According to U.S. News, the 1,896 hospitals and health care facilities that met the requirements for at least one specialty were then scored based on four factors (with the exception of cardiology and heart surgery, which had a slightly different methodology):

    Access the quick guides to understand hospital rating metrics and methodologies

    • Survival rates within 30 days of admission (37.5 percent);
    • Care-related factors, such as nurse staffing and patient volumes (30 percent);
    • Reputation (27.5 percent); and
    • Patient safety, based on hospitals' rates of four medical errors or oversights—down from six such errors or oversights considered in previous U.S. News 'Best Hospital' rankings (5 percent).

    Cardiology and heart surgery programs also were judged on a fifth factor: public transparency, for publicly reporting quality metrics through American College of Cardiology and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons websites. Transparency was weighted at 3 percent, while reputation was weighted at 24.5 percent.

    Honor Roll

    Further, U.S. News recognized 20 facilities on an "Honor Roll." The facilities earned their spots on the list by demonstrating "exceptional treatment" in several areas. Honor roll awardees, ranked from one to 20, include:

    1. Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.);
    2. Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland);
    3. Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore);
    4. Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston);
    5. UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco);
    6. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers (Ann Arbor);
    7. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles);
    8. New York-Presbyterian Hospital (New York);
    9. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital (Stanford, California);
    10. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian (Philadelphia);
    11. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles);
    12. Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis);
    13. Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago);
    14. UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside (Pittsburgh);
    15. University of Colorado Hospital (Aurora);
    16. Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals (Philadelphia);
    17. Duke University Hospital (Durham, North Carolina);
    18. Mount Sinai Hospital (New York);
    19. NYU Langone Medical Center (New York); and
    20. Mayo Clinic Phoenix (Phoenix).


    John Noseworthy, president and CEO of Mayo Clinic, said, "Mayo Clinic is consistently top ranked nationwide more often than any other hospital because of the thousands of people here who shared a vision." He added, "Our physicians, scientists, researchers, educators, and allied health staff bring their expertise to focus on the individual needs of each patient."

    Separately, Toby Cosgrove, president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, said while he doesn't think the rankings are "the ultimate measure of quality," they are increasingly improving as they become "less reliant on reputation and more reliant on quality metrics because we have more quality metrics."

    He added that the ranking was a helpful checkpoint, saying, "Frankly, I think any time you measure and look at yourself, it's important because you realize you can always get better," adding, "If we find out there's some deficiency, some place we're not doing well, we try to look at it and improve it" (U.S. News release, 8/8; U.S. News Honor Roll, 8/8; U.S. News FAQ, 8/8; U.S. News methodology, accessed 8/8; Christ, The Plain Dealer, 8/8; Mayo Clinic release, 8/8).

    Get the cheat sheets: How hospital quality ratings programs work

    Download our one page sheets for summaries on the methodology and metric categories used in five hospital quality rating programs:

  • US News and World Report Best Hospital Rankings
  • CMS Star Ratings
  • Leapfrog Group Hospital Safety Grade
  • Truven Analytics’ Top 15 Health Systems
  • Truven Analytics’ Top 100 Hospitals
  • Get the Cheat Sheets

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