June 13, 2001

Vanderbilt among ‘stellar’ U.S. centers

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Vanderbilt among ‘stellar’ U.S. centers

A national survey, released today by U.S. News and World Report, continues to recognize Vanderbilt University Medical Center among the nation’s “stellar” health care providers.

In the 12th annual assessment called “America’s Best Hospitals,” Vanderbilt University Hospital and the Vanderbilt Clinic were recognized among the nation’s best in 11 of the 17 specialty areas surveyed.

“We are pleased that VUMC has again been recognized among the nation’s elite health care institutions,” said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, vice chancellor for Health Affairs. “This is only one indicator of quality, but national recognition such as this is important in reaching our goal of being regarded as one of the country’s premiere academic medical institutions.”

Vanderbilt was ranked in the following areas: cancer, 23rd; digestive disorders, 31st; ear, nose and throat, 11th; gynecology, 21st; heart, 33rd; hormonal disorders, 15th; kidney disease, 12th; neurology and neurosurgery, 45th; orthopedics, 22nd; respiratory disorders, 22nd; and urology, 18th. It was the only center in the region ranked in these specialties, except the heart category, where St. Thomas Hospital was the 49th facility in the top 50.

The rankings are published in the July 23 issue of the news magazine, available on newsstands July 16. They also can be accessed online at www.usnews.com.

This year, the survey sifted data from 6,116 hospitals to arrive at 168 “stellar” centers in 17 specialties, news magazine editors said in a press release.

The rankings use a statistical methodology created in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

To be eligible to be ranked in any specialty, a hospital must be affiliated with a medical school, be a member of the Council of Teaching Hospitals or have a minimum of nine out of 17 key technologies readily available.

Eligibility for 13 of the 17 specialties depends on performing a specified number of defined procedures during the past three years for which data is available or being named by at least one physician in U.S. News surveys over the past three years. Hospitals that meet these criteria are given a score, called the U.S. News index, that combines reputation, mortality data and a group of other factors related to patient care, including technology and nursing.

The news magazine lists the top 50 of these hospitals in 13 specialties – the 11 in which Vanderbilt was ranked, plus geriatrics and rheumatology.

In four specialties – ophthalmology, pediatrics, psychiatry and rehabilitation – rankings are determined by reputation alone because information about mortality is either irrelevant or unavailable.