U.S. News & World Report Scores Southern Hospitals among National Rankings
As expected, the big guns topped the list of U.S. News & World Report’s 22nd annual Best Hospitals list—Johns Hopkins, Mass General, Mayo Clinic-Minnesota, Cleveland Clinic and the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center—yet hospital systems in the South made a significant showing in the 2011-12 rankings involving nearly 5,000 hospitals in 94 metro areas and 16 adult specialties, from cancer to urology.
On the honor roll list of America’s 17 best hospitals, Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., one of Medical News’ newest markets, was listed No. 8. Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., tied for No. 14.
Death rates, patient safety and hospital reputation were among various factors considered, and only 140 hospitals were nationally ranked in one or more specialties. The prestigious Honor Roll features 17 hospitals that scored near the top in at least six specialties. RTI International, based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., compiles data and produces annual rankings. Fidelity Investments sponsored the U.S. News Best Hospitals consumer guidebook, released Aug. 30.
“Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health rankings editor.
Duke was recognized in all but one of the 16 specialties, and reported especially strong scores in 10 specialties. The 798-bed general medical and surgical teaching hospital under the Duke University Health System has nearly 40,000 annual admissions, and performed more than 15,000 annual inpatient and nearly 20,000 outpatient surgeries. Emergency room visits average 66,000. Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center was also included in the hospital specialty ranking.
Duke’s national rankings include:
- No. 5: Geriatrics, Pulmonology
- No. 6: Orthopedics
- No. 7: Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Ophthalmology
- No. 8: Neurology & Neurosurgery; Urology
- No. 9: Gynecology, Nephrology
- No. 11: Cancer
- No. 12: Rheumatology
- No. 13: Gastroenterology
- No. 16: Psychiatry
Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn., an 815-bed general medical and surgical hospital with Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt under the parent company Vanderbilt Healthcare, garnered a best-ever No. 14 ranking on the Honor Roll, with its specialty programs also achieving an institutional best with 11 of 16 possible medical specialties rankings.
Vanderbilt showed a strong reputation with specialists, highest nurse staffing, and better-than-expected survival rate. The Joint Commission-accredited teaching hospital ranked nationally in 11 adult and 10 pediatric specialists. Annually, physicians perform approximately 21,000 inpatient and 25,000 outpatient procedures. More than 100,000 visits are made annually to its emergency room.
Vanderbilt ranked highly in geriatrics, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology specialties. Its national rankings include:
- No. 5: Pediatrics Urology
- No. 9: Urology
- No. 11: Pediatrics Neonatology
- No. 12: Nephrology
- No. 14: Diabetes & Endocrinology; Ear Nose & Throat (ENT)
- No. 15: Pulmonology
- No. 17: Gastroenterology
- No. 23: Cardiology & Heart Surgery
Arkansas and Mississippi were not included in the list, based on lack of minimum metro area population.
SIDEBAR: Hospitals in Florida Recognized
Other notable rankings for hospitals in Florida include Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami, a 2,095-bed general medical and surgical hospital ranked No. 1 in ophthalmology.
Also in Florida:
- Of 14 hospitals in the Orlando metropolitan area, including Kissimmee and Sanford, two are top-ranking: Florida Hospital Orlando, recognized for gastroenterology, gynecology and cancer specialties, along with nine other specialties; and Orlando Regional Medical Center, recognized in diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and geriatrics specialties, and seven other specialties. The Arnold Palmer Medical Center for children ranked highly for cardiology and heart surgery and orthopedics.
- Of 11 hospitals in Sarasota-Manatee counties, the sole high-ranking hospital was Sarasota Memorial Hospital, recognized in gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology and three other high-performing specialties.
- Of 43 hospitals in the Tampa-St. Petersburg market including Clearwater, four hospitals are top-ranking: Tampa General Hospital, recognized for diabetes and endocrinology, geriatrics, gynecology and nine other specialties; Moffitt Cancer Center, recognized for cancer, gastroenterology, gynecology and nephrology; Brandon Regional Hospital, ranked highly for pulmonology specialty; and St. Anthony’s Hospital, ranked highly for urology specialty. All Children’s Hospital ranked highly for cancer and cardiology and heart surgery.
Mirroring the philosophy of many top-level administrators of ranked hospitals, Tampa General CEO Ron Hytoff said the hospital’s standings in this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings resulted from collaboration between hospital staff, the local College of Medicine (University of South Florida), and community medical providers. “We’re fortunate that our doctors, nurses, clinical specialists and support staff work so well together,” he said. “Our patients benefit by receiving excellent patient care, which results in much better outcomes.”