Every year people in the health field, as well as patients, advocates and the media look forward (some anxiously!) to the annual list of America’s best hospitals.
The 2010-2011 list has just come out. An astounding 4,852 hospitals were evaluated, and 152 hospitals were chosen as the best.
However, the the Top 14 “Honor Roll” hospitals receive the most attention, and probably the most benefit from all this research. A lot of people wonder how this list is compiled. Is it which hospital has the most money? Fewest deaths? Best recovery rates from serious illnesses? It’s a combination of all of the above, plus many more. Let’s take a look at what makes an American hospital one of the best in the nation.
Criteria include an important factor – specialties. All hospitals on this year’s list of 14 have a minimum of six specialties, and have the best state-of-the-art equipment possible. For people with serious illnesses who need urgent care, knowing what hospitals have the best equipment and that specialize in their condition, this can be the criteria that makes their decision on what hospital to go to for their care.
The specialties taken into consideration are:
• Diabetes & Endocrinology
• Ear, Nose & Throat
• Heart & Heart Surgery
• Kidney Disorders
• Neurology & Neurosurgery
Additionally, the decision is based on how many doctors refer their patients to a particular hospital.
Use of technology is also taken into account. The better the technology, the better the score.
Mortality – or the death rate – in hospitals is also taken into consideration. How many die in hospital? How many die after surgeries or procedures? Accidents or infections while in hospital, that have nothing to do with the illness they are there for are also studied. For example, a huge outbreak of MRSA in a particular hospital would take their scores down.
Another important factor is nursing care and nursing and staff numbers. Hospitals that are very well staffed, with well-educated and experienced nurses see their scores increase. Quality of patient care scores is also on the list.
And hospitals with money? They do well – they can afford the best staffing, technology, research and care. One of the reasons many of these hospitals have the money for modern amenities and equipment is from generous donations and endowments.
So here we come to the best hospitals in America. In order, they are:
1. Johns Hopkins Hospital
2. Mayo Clinic
3. Massachusetts General Hospital
4. Cleveland Clinic
5. UCLA Medical Center
6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital
7. UCSF Medical Center
8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital
9. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
10. Duke University Medical Center
11. Brigham and Women's Hospital
12. University of Washington Medical Center
13. UPMC – University of Pittsburg Medical Cener
14. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Care Centers – Ann Arbor
I'm very lucky in that my entire family and I are near one of these hospitals and get all our care from the doctors and caregivers there.
Have you used the services of any of these hospitals? Do you think they are worthy of their rank?