U.S. News and World Report ranked the University of Chicago Hospitals 15th best in the nation and among the top twenty-five hospitals in nine other specialty areas. This selection, in the July 22 issue, will mark the sixth consecutive year the University's Hospitals have appeared on the list.
"We're always extremely pleased to be ranked by a reputable source as one of the best hospitals in America. We're very happy to be on the list," said John Eastman, director of public relations for the University Medical Center.
The rankings were computed by Colm O'Muircheartaigh, Joseph Murphy, and Whitney Moore of the University's National Opinion Research Center (NORC). They are based on NORC's annual Index of Hospital Quality.
"It's extremely difficult to do a ranking like this," Eastman said. "To say it is completely fair may be pushing it a little bit. But of all the rankings I know, this [U.S. News and World Report] does the best job. They really know what they're doing over there at NORC."
To qualify for the rankings, hospitals have to demonstrate a dedication to teaching and research either by being associated with a medical school or by providing at least nine of seventeen technological services.
Other university hospitals on the list include Johns Hopkins (1), UCLA Medical Center (5), Duke University Medical Center (6), and University of Washington Medical Center (11).
The Index of Hospital Quality is based on original survey data and secondary analyses of data from the American Hospital Association and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A U.S. News Index is created from each hospital's score in reputation, mortality, and other factors.
The ranking methodology was originally developed by NORC in 1993.
Reputation scores in each specialty are based on the lists of top five hospitals given by 180 board-certified physicians in 1998, 1999, 2000.
The mortality score for the same years is the ratio of deaths of Medicare patients with certain conditions to the expected number of deaths. 3M Health Information Systems software was used to adjust for severity.
Factors like hospice and palliative care from the American Hospital Association's data were also included.
Despite the high ranking, including making US News' Honor Roll for breadth of expertise and high quality, hospital officials still believe there is room to improve.
"This year we were tied for 14th, and we like to be 5th or 6th, " Eastman said. "We'd like to do better in everything. It's a little funny how they do the Honor Roll of the best hospitals. There were a few areas we narrowly missed a few points that would have helped us get up there."
The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, an area hospital, was also named the nation's best rehabilitation hospital for the 12th straight year.
The U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll
1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
3. Cleveland Clinic
4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
5. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
6. Duke University Medical Center, Durham
7. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center
8. University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor
9. Barnew-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis
10. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
11. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle
12. New York Presbyterian Hospital
13. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
14. Stanford University Hospital
15. University of Chicago Hospitals
16. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
17. Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinic, Nashville