National survey again names University of Chicago Medical Center to the Honor Roll of Best Hospitals

National survey again names University of Chicago Medical Center to the Honor Roll of Best Hospitals

Only Illinois hospital ever to make prestigious list

July 11, 2008

John Easton
(773) 702-6241

In its annual survey, U.S.News & World Report selected the University of Chicago Medical Center as one of the very best hospitals in the United States.

In the 2008 "Best Hospitals" issue (July 21, 2008, on newsstands July 14), the magazine ranked the University of Chicago Medical Center as 17th out of America's 5,453 hospitals. Because the Medical Center scored highly in so many areas it is featured in the magazine's elite list of "Honor Roll" hospitals.

The Medical Center--the only Illinois hospital ever included in the "Honor Roll"--has appeared on this esteemed list 11 times since 1995.

Seven programs, digestive disorders (#6) endocrinology (#11), cancer (#18), neurology and neurosurgery (#19), heart and heart surgery (#20), kidney disease (#22), and ear, nose and throat (#22) were ranked in the top 25 nationwide. Geriatrics (#29), respiratory (#32) and gynecology (#34) also scored in the top 35.

The rankings are based on a mathematical formula that takes into account (1) the ratio between actual and expected mortality at a hospital; (2) a group of factors such as available technology, patient/community services, procedure volume and nursing care, including Magnet status; and (3) the institution's reputation based on a poll of 200 specialists in each field, averaged over three years. These specialists are asked to list "the five hospitals they consider best in their specialty for difficult cases, without taking location or expense into account (or naming your own hospital)."

According to U.S.News, out of the more than 5,000 hospitals evaluated, only 170 met that standard in one or more specialties. Most that did are referral centers, which are accustomed to seeing the toughest patients and conducting bench-to-bedside research that advances the state of the art.

"Talent and money alone don't put hospitals in the rankings," said Best Hospitals editor Avery Comarow. "The truly best hospitals are never satisfied," he said. "Of course they have high medical standards. But the emphasis is not only on doing well, but always doing better--squeezing another few percentage points out of the infection rate, improving the quality of life of elderly patients besides helping more of them survive."

In March, the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine was ranked 16th in the U.S.News & World Report "Best Graduate Schools" issue.