Annual List of America's Best Hospitals Released

Jul 17, 2008

“Let’s take care of the patient.” That must be the credo of hospitals that make U.S. News & World Report's “Best Hospitals” rankings, in which hospitals are judged not in routine procedures but in difficult cases across an entire specialty. In the nineteenth year of this annual review, hospitals are ranked in 16 specialties, from cancer and heart disease to respiratory disorders and urology. Out of the 5,453 hospitals put through a rigorous statistical mill, only 170 scored high enough to appear in any of the specialty rankings.

For the first time, data and scores are also available online for more than 1,500 hospitals that in the end fell short of being ranked at

The hospitals undergo a rigorous review. Twelve of the 16 specialty rankings are driven largely by hard data; in four others, ranking is based on three years of nominations by specialists surveyed. To be considered at all for the 12 data-driven specialties, a hospital had to meet at least one of three requirements: membership in the Council of Teaching Hospitals, affiliation with a medical school, or availability of at least six of 13 key technologies, such as robotic surgery. This year, nearly two-thirds of all hospitals failed this first test.

If they passed, hospitals had to perform a certain number of specified procedures on Medicare inpatients in 2004, 2005, and 2006. The number varied by specialty—294 in orthopedics, for example. Or the hospital had to have been nominated by at least one physician in U.S. News surveys in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

That left 1,569 hospitals eligible for ranking in at least one data-driven specialty. Each facility received a U.S. News Score from 0 to 100, made up in equal parts of reputation, death rate, and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services.

Hospitals were rated for their “mortality index,” which defines the institution’s ability to keep patients alive. It compares the number of Medicare inpatients with certain conditions who died within 30 days of admission in 2004, 2005, and 2006 with the number of deaths that would have been expected after adjusting for severity.

The top five endocrinology departments in U.S. hospitals were:

  1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.
  2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
  4. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, CA
  5. New York-Presbyterian Univ. Hosp. of Columbia and Cornell, NY

Best Hospitals Report: Endocrinology

Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Doctors & Nurses, Endocrinology, Hospital Care

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Posted by Anonymous on 17 July 2008

I love that they test hospitals, but I am absolutely stunned by the results; two of the Chicago hospitals listed lost my medical records not once, but twice; failed to treat and didn't even know what diabetes was, and more than one doctor admitted that in that state they are not required to learn about diabetes! Of course, above, the speciality is not for diabetes or endocrine related disorders, but the lost records and poor medical treatment that led to me being completely disabled happened at the above recommended Chicago hospitals and was NOT for diabetes. I would say it was an isolated case, except my current doctor was discussing a lawsuit with another patient, and I had 5 doctors with a new doctor change yearly trying to find someone who could understand that a 400 blood sugar was abnormal and needed treatment. When I went to a diabetes specialist, I was very excited - until I learned that they had just discovered carb counting and were creating teams now to deal with diabetes! I had been carb counting since I was seventeen, and at that point had diabetes for 21 years, and always had an educational team from the time I was 12 in PA. Reports are lovely, and may stress standards, but I am not sure they truly speak to standards of care, education of staff, quality of life of patients, or survival rates of patients given health status - to me, THOSE would be the proper standards. I don't care if you operate with a pick axe as long as you do it well, robotic arm or not.

Posted by wifey on 18 July 2008

I cannot believe that hospitals--in Canada anyway––go for this "sliding scale" of insulin injections to diabetics. While visiting my husband, in hospital this week for an extremely bad kidney infection, I happened to check his blood glucose. It was 13.5 (243 in American measurements) When I told the nurse, she assured me she would take care of it in three hours time with their "sliding scale".
Incidentally they refused to use his own insulins which are Lantus and humalog. If he were at home at this point, he'd be taking a couple of units or so of humalog immediately.
Can't they see that this sort of treatment is harmful? His next HgA1c test will not be his usual 6-7 range.

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