U.S. News & World Report ranks the Cleveland Clinic fourth overall nationally

Staff report


The Cleveland Clinic is fourth overall in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 25th edition of the annual “Best Hospitals” rankings.

The clinic was rated No. 1 nationally in cardiology, heart surgery and urology.

Locally, Youngstown’s St. Elizabeth Health Center and St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center are ranked 24th and 32nd respectively in Ohio.

“We are very proud of this recognition. Being ranked among the best of the best by U.S. News & World Report, an independent and impartial news organization, recognizes the extraordinary care we deliver every day,” said Donald Koenig, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Humility of Mary Health Partners.

“This is what everyone in our organization strives for with every patient. We are honored that the efforts of everyone on our team — doctors, nurses and support staff — stand out and are recognized as being among the very best,” he said.

“Best Hospitals” includes key information on nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide.

For the first time, the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., claimed the No. 1 spot on the honor roll of top 17 hospitals, followed by Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City is No. 1 in cancer, and the Cleveland Clinic is first in cardiology and heart surgery.

“U.S. News strives to provide patients and their families with the most comprehensive data available on hospitals,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News health rankings editor.

The “Best Hospitals” rankings are intended to help patients with life-threatening or rare conditions identify hospitals that excel in treating the most-difficult cases. Hospitals are ranked nationally in 16 specialties including cancer, orthopedics, and neurology and neurosurgery, he said.

For patients seeking care locally, the U.S. News’ “Best Regional Hospitals” highlights high-performing hospitals by state, region and metro area.

In the 2014-15 rankings, 144 U.S. hospitals performed well enough to be nationally ranked in one or more specialties. An additional 581 were regional high performers. Just 17 qualified for a spot on the honor roll, ranking at or near the top in six or more specialties.

U.S. News said it made several changes to the “Best Hospitals” rankings methodology this year, including adding new data and greater emphasis on patient safety. Patient safety metrics now account for 10 percent of each hospital’s overall score, in most specialties — twice as much as in past years.

“With an estimated 400,000 deaths occurring in hospitals each year from medical errors, measuring safety performance is critical to understanding how well a hospital cares for its patients,” Comarow said.

The role of hospital reputation, as determined through a national survey of medical specialists, diminished by 5 percentage points, he said.

Hospitals are ranked nationally in each of the 16 specialties. Nationally ranked hospitals have the skill and experience to treat the most complex and demanding cases, Comarow said.

Hospitals ranking in the top 10 in 12 of the 16 specialties received 2 points per specialty, and they received 1 point per specialty for ranking in the next 10. In the other four specialties, hospitals received 2 points per specialty for ranking in the top five. They received 1 point for ranking in the next five.

Risk-adjusted survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing and patient volume are among the array of data points on each ranked hospital that are available for free at www.usnews.com/besthospitals.

Some patients might be unable to travel far for care — or shouldn’t have to, because their condition is more straightforward. To help them find care close to home, U.S. News also ranks nearly 600 other hospitals by state, region and metro area, Comarow said.

These “Best Regional Hospitals,” evaluated using the same standards as for national ranked centers, are highly skilled, capable of serving the needs of most patients, he said.

The research organization RTI International in Research Triangle Park, N.C., conducted the physician survey and produced the “Best Hospitals” methodology and national rankings under contract with U.S. News.

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