UW Today

July 20, 2012

UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center take top two spots in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals state, metro rankings

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U.S. News latest hospital rankings

UW Medicine’s two academic medical centers are ranked the best in the region and the state of Washington in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012 edition of America’s Best Hospitals. UW Medical Center holds the No. 1 rank and Harborview Medical Center is No. 2 out of 35 hospitals in the Seattle metropolitan area and more than 100 hospitals in the state. In addition, UW Medicine’s Valley Medical Center is ranked No. 4 in the metro area and No. 7 in the state of Washington.

To be ranked in a metro area, a hospital had to score in the top 25 percent among its peers nationally in at least one of 12 medical specialties. This year’s Best Hospitals, the 23rd annual edition, showcases more than 732 Best Regional Hospitals of the nearly 4,800 hospitals nationwide. Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties. The rest of the recognized hospitals met a standard of performance nearly as demanding in one or more specialties. The methodology behind the 2012-13 Best Hospitals national rankings is also used to recognize Best Regional Hospitals. The national rankings encompass 16 medical specialties, and up to 50 hospitals are ranked in each specialty. Additional hospitals in a specialty are recognized as high-performing. Hospitals that are either nationally ranked or high-performing in at least one specialty are recognized as Best Regional Hospitals.

In 12 specialties, a hospital must be in the top 25 percent of all hospitals that qualified for possible national ranking, and thus received a U.S. News Score, by meeting various standards that included specialty-specific minimums for patient volume. In Cancer, for example, 901 hospitals in the original 4,793-hospital universe qualified to receive a U.S. News Score this year, and only 25 percent of those were ranked or recognized as high-performing in Cancer. In the other four specialties—Ophthalmology, Psychiatry, Rehabilitation, and Rheumatology—the rankings are based solely on hospitals’ reputations with surveyed medical specialists; hospitals are recognized as high-performing if they received nominations from at least 3 percent of the responding specialists.

Below are the specialties nationally ranked for UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center, as well as specialties classified as high-performing for UWMC, HMC and Valley.

UW Medical Center is nationally ranked in the following specialties:

  • Cancer (UW Medicine physicians practice at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; The National Cancer Institute recognizes UWMC & Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center as a designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.)
  • Diabetes and endocrinology
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Geriatrics
  • Gynecology
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology/neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Pulmonology
  • Rehabilitation

UW Medical Center is high-performing in the following specialties:

  • Cardiology and heart surgery
  • Gastroenterology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Urology

Harborview Medical Center is nationally ranked in the following specialties:

  • Diabetes and endocrinology
  • Orthopedics

Harborview Medical Center is high-performing in the following specialties:

  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology and neurosurgery
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

Valley Medical Center is high-performing in the following specialties:

  • Diabetes and endocrinology
  • Orthopedics

UW Medicine includes eight entities: Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, Valley Medical Center, UW Medical Center, UW Neighborhood Clinics, UW Physicians, UW School of Medicine, and Airlift Northwest. UW Medicine also shares in the ownership and governance of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and shares in ownership of Children’s University Medical Group with Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The rankings are available at www.usnews.com/besthospitals and will be featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, which goes on sale in August. For more information, and to view the full list of 2012-2013 rankings, visit: www.usnews.com/hospitals