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While maintaining its standing as the top-ranked hospital in Iowa, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has lost ground nationally in its ranked specialties, according to new U.S. News & World Report “best hospitals” list.
Where UIHC, like last year, ranked in the Top 50 nationally in four of 15 specialties — down from six in 2019, seven in 2018, five in 2017, seven in both 2016 and 2015, and nine in 2014 — now it’s ranked in the Top 10 nationally in one specialty, down from two last year.
- UIHC’s ophthalmology ranking slipped one notch from No. 6 to No. 7;
- Its ear, nose, and throat ranking fell from No. 7 to No. 23;
- Its gynecology standing dropped to No. 41 from No. 34 last year and from No. 19 the year before that;
- And it’s cancer ranking dropped to No. 47 from No. 41.
Like last year, UIHC earned “high performing” in six specialties: pulmonology and lung surgery; orthopedics; urology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; and diabetes and endocrinology. UIHC did not achieve high-performing status in those last two specialties last year.
“Our commitment to providing Iowans with the highest quality care available in the country, right here in our state, is unwavering,” UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said in a statement. “We are pleased to see the hard work, dedication, and expertise of our talented physicians and staff continue to be recognized nationally through the U.S. News ‘Best Hospitals’ rankings.”
Like U.S. News’ annual and oft-touted “best college” rankings that rely, to some degree, on reputation — with 20 percent of an institution’s score determined through a “peer assessment survey” — U.S. News reports its best-hospitals list too involves peer evaluation.
- Nearly 28 percent of a hospital’s score comes via “expert opinion,” with “board-certified physicians in the relevant specialties” invited to list up to five hospitals they consider the best in their area of expertise for complex and difficult cases.
- Nearly 38 percent of a score comes from patient outcomes — like a hospital’s success at keeping them alive, factoring in expectations based on age and sex, illnesses, type of care, and other risk factors.
- 5 percent reflects the patient experience — based on a consumer assessment survey;
- And 30 percent comes from care-related indicators like nurse staffing, patient volume, and clinical technologies.
As U.S. News tweaks its methodology annually — this year making changes to its nurse staffing, discharge, and transparency evaluations — the publication identified 1,880 hospitals that met its 2021-22 standards for ranking eligibility in at least one specialty.
Across all 15 specialties, just 175 hospitals performed well enough to rank in the Top 50 in one or more specialty. Hospitals who fall short of a Top 50 ranking but still make the Top 10 percent of all rated hospitals earn “high-performing” designation.
U.S. News also highlights — through an “honor roll” — 20 hospitals that excel across most or all types of care the publication evaluated.
- Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio
- UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
- Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Md.
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass.
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif.
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York, NY
- NYU Langone Hospitals, New York, NY
- UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, Calif.
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, Ill.
- University of Michigan Hospitals-Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, Calif.
- Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia, Penn.
- Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.
- Mayo Clinic-Phoenix, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas
- (Tie) Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis, Mo.
- (Tie) Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY
- Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Ill.
- Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.
Vanessa Miller covers higher education for The Gazette.
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