July 24, 1998

VUMC specialties rank among best in nation: survey

VUMC specialties rank among best in nation: survey

Several programs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center are among the nation¹s best, according to a new survey by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

The ninth annual assessment of health care facilities, dubbed "America¹s Best Hospitals," ranks institutions by 16 different specialties. This year¹s complete guide was published in the magazine¹s July 20 issue. It can also be accessed on-line in the News You Can Use section of the magazine¹s website at www.usnews.com.

Vanderbilt University Hospital and The Vanderbilt Clinic are ranked in seven of the 16 specialty areas surveyed, including cancer, endocrinology, gynecology, otolaryngology, pulmonary medicine, rheumatology and, for the first time, urology.

No other hospital in Tennessee is included in the national rankings of the 16 specialty areas.

"We are extremely pleased and proud that Vanderbilt University Medical Center has once again been ranked among the best in the nation," said Dr. Harry R. Jacobson, Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. "National recognition such as this is an important step in achieving our goal of becoming regarded as one of the premiere academic medical institutions in the nation."

All the specialties at VUMC, save first-time entrant urology, rose from last year¹s U.S. News & World Report ranking: cancer from 35 to 21; endocrinology from 18 to 14; gynecology from 28 to 18; otolaryngology from 18 to 15; pulmonary medicine from 22 to 16; and rheumatology from 23 to 21.

The U.S. News ranking uses a method designed by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), a noted social science research group at the University of Chicago, to rank the quality of the nation's hospitals each year. NORC's mathematical model combines reputation surveys, statistics and information related to quality, such as the ratio of registered nurses to beds. To be eligible for ranking in any of the 16 specialties, a hospital had to meet at least one of three requirements ‹ affiliation with a medical school, membership in the Council of Teaching Hospitals, or having a minimum of nine out of 17 key technologies readily available. Of the 6,400 U.S. hospitals, 1,985 met the initial eligibility test. The final rankings included 132 different hospitals.

The 16 specialties ranked by U.S. News & World Report are cancer, cardiology and cardiac surgery, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, neurology and neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, pediatrics, psychiatry, pulmonary disease, rehabilitation, rheumatology, and urology.