National survey names University of Chicago Medical Center as one of the best U.S. hospitals

July 15, 2010

In its annual "Best Hospitals" survey, U.S.News & World Report selected the University of Chicago Medical Center as one of the finest hospitals in the United States.

In the August issue (on newsstands July 27), the magazine ranked 11 Medical Center specialties among the top such programs in the country. Combined with three top pediatric programs at Comer Children's Hospital at the University of Chicago, ranked separately this year, the Medical Center has more ranked programs, 14, than any other Illinois institution.

Nine adult programs--digestive disorders (#6), cancer (#15), diabetes and endocrinology (#18), pulmonology (#21), kidney disease (#21), neurology & neurosurgery (#26), heart & heart surgery (#27), urology (#28) and geriatrics (#29)--were ranked in the top 30 nationwide. Gynecology (#34), and ear, nose and throat (#38) scored in the top 50.

In June, Comer Children's Hospital, which opened in 2005, placed in the top 30 in three specialties: #21 in diabetes and endocrinology, #24 in neurology and neurosurgery, and #26 in neonatal care.

"When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you," said Avery Comarow, health-rankings editor for the magazine. "These are hospitals that are used to getting the sickest patients."

The rankings in 12 of the 16 adult specialties are based on a mathematical formula that takes into account the ratio between actual and expected mortality at a hospital; a group of factors such as available technology, patient/community services, procedure volume and nursing care, including Magnet status; and the institution's reputation based on a poll of 200 specialists in each field, averaged over three years. In the four remaining adult specialties--ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology--hospitals were ranked on reputation alone.

According to U.S. News, out of nearly 5,000 hospitals evaluated, only 152 met the "Best Hospitals" standard in one or more specialties, and only five from Illinois.

In March, the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine and its graduate programs in the biological sciences were both ranked 13th in the U.S.News & World Report "Best Graduate Schools" issue. Over the last five years, Pritzker has been the fastest rising medical school in the top 50.

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