UW News

July 7, 2006

UW Medical Center ranked in top 10 among nation’s best hospitals for fourth consecutive year

For the fourth consecutive year, University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) ranks among the top 10 hospitals in the nation. UWMC is ranked 10th according to U.S.News & World Report’s 2006 annual guide to “America’s Best Hospitals,” updated in its July 17 issue, available July 10.

UWMC has been consistently ranked among the top hospitals nationally by U.S. News since 1993. Of 5,189 hospitals considered for this year’s survey, just 176 scored high enough to be ranked in any specialty area. Only 14 were named to the 2006 Honor Roll, demonstrating exceptional breadth of excellence. UWMC is the highest-ranked hospital west of St. Louis and north of San Francisco.

In specialty rankings, 11 UW Medical Center programs are now ranked among the top 20 in the country. The rehabilitation program, which is based at both UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, is now ranked third in the nation. The cancer program is now ranked sixth in the nation. The neurology and neurosurgery program, also based at both medical centers, ranked 17th in the nation.

UWMC ranked among the top 20 programs nationwide in ear, nose and throat (9); orthopaedics (10); endocrinology (11); respiratory disorders (12); kidney disease (15); gynecology (17); digestive disorders (17), and rheumatology (20).

Harborview, which is owned by King County and operated by the University of Washington, ranked 18th in orthopaedics.

Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, which is closely affiliated with the UW School of Medicine, ranked 12th in pediatrics.

“It is a great honor for UWMC to be ranked in the top 10 of America’s Best Hospitals four years in a row,” said Lisa Brandenburg, UWMC interim executive director. “I congratulate our physicians, nurses and staff for their continuing excellence in caring for our patients.”

“It is no small feat to stay consistently in the national top 10,” said Dr. Ed Walker, UWMC medical director. “Quality is a major focus of patients and insurers who must pay for medical care, and it takes a remarkable team of physicians, nurses and staff to deliver these results. The competition gets tougher each year.”

For 11 of the 16 specialties ranked, U.S. News evaluated hospitals using a mathematical model combining reputation among board-certified specialists, mortality, and other medical data such as the various medical technologies available.

In the other five specialties — ophthalmology, pediatrics, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology — rankings were based on a reputational survey of physicians.

The survey methodology included whether a facility is designated as a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurse Credentialing Center for meeting high standards of nursing excellence. UW Medical Center was the first in the nation to be designated a Magnet Hospital in 1994 and the first to receive the honor three times.

The complete U.S. News Honor Roll of the nation’s best hospitals includes (in order) Johns Hopkins Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, UCLA Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, Duke University Medical Center, Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis, University of California San Francisco Medical Center, UW Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, University of Michigan Hospitals and Health System, Stanford Hospital and Clinics and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

For more information on the rankings, go to www.usnews.com/besthospitals