UW Today

This is an archived article.

July 16, 2009

University of Washington Medical Center ranks 12th in U.S. News Media Group’s 2009 edition of America’s Best Hospitals

UW Health Sciences/UW Medicine

University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) is ranked among the nation’s top hospitals in U.S. News & World Report’s 2009 edition of America’s Best Hospitals, and made the Honor Roll for its breadth of excellence in specialty care. The 2009 edition is accessible today online at http://www.usnews.com/besthospitals  and on sale at newsstands Monday, July 20.

UW Medical Center is part of the UW Medicine health system, which includes Harborview Medical Center, the UW School of Medicine, UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, Airlift Northwest, and the UW’s participation in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. UWMC has been rated among the leading hospitals in the United States since U.S. News began rankings in 1990. Of the nation’s 4,861 hospitals considered for this year’s survey, only 174 scored high enough to be ranked in even one of 16 specialty areas. UW Medical Center ranked 12th in the nation and was among just 21 hospitals qualified to be listed in the 2009 Honor Roll for achieving high scores in six or more specialties.

Several UW Medicine programs were ranked highly including:


  • Rehabilitation (3) (based at UWMC and Harborview Medical Center)
  • Cancer (6)
  • Ear, nose and throat (12)
  • Geriatric care (14) (based at Harborview Medical Center)
  • Gynecology (15)
  • Orthopaedics at UWMC (15)
  • Respiratory disorders (16)
  • Kidney disorders (16)
  • Orthopaedics at Harborview Medical Center (18)
  • Diabetes and endocrine disorders (20)
  • Rheumatology (22)
  • Digestive disorders (25)
  • Neurology/neurosurgery (25) (based at Harborview and UWMC)
  • Urology (30)


For 12 of the 16 specialties ranked, U.S. News evaluated hospitals on several elements: reputation, death rate, patient safety, nurse staffing, Nurse Magnet Hospital designation, type and number of Medicare discharges, patient-care services, presence of a Level 1 or 2 trauma center, designation as a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center, key technologies, presence of a National Institute on Aging-certified Alzheimer’s Center and a Level 4 Epilepsy Center, accreditation for cell transplants to treat cancer, and quality measures like patient volume and nursing care. In the other four specialties —ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology—rankings were based solely on a reputational survey of board-certified physicians who were asked which were the best hospitals in their specialty for handling the most challenging cases and procedures.


The complete U.S. News Honor Roll of the nation’s best hospitals in rank order is:

1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

3. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

4. Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

5. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

6. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York City

7. University of California, San Francisco Medical Center

8. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

9. Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis

10. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.

(Note: There is no 11th spot due to the tie above).

12. University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle

13. UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center)

14. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers

15. Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, Calif.

16. Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville

17. NYU Medical Center, New York City

17. Yale-New Haven Hospital

(Note: There is no 18th due to the tie above.)

19. Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York City

20. Methodist Hospital, Houston

21. Ohio State University Hospital, Columbus


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


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