Sunday, July 20, 2008

Report: HUP Ranked 10th Among American Hospitals

(previously published here at

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) has been named the nation's 10th best hospital.

As reported in the U.S. News & World Report's 2008 edition of America's Best Hospitals, HUP was also recognized for its excellence as one of the top 20 hospitals in the nation in 11 specialty categories, including ear, nose and throat care, gastrointestinal disorders, gynecology, heart [care] and heart surgery, kidney disease and respiratory disorders.

"We are delighted to be included in the list of national top 10 'Best Hospitals' in this year's U.S. News & World Report's Honor Roll," said Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Hospitals that were considered for most of the magazine's lists were either affiliated with a medical school, serving as a participating member of the Council of Teaching Hospitals or actively using at least six of 13 key technologies. Only 1/3 of U.S. hospitals meet these qualifications. Veterans' and military hospitals were also not included because data was not available.

The hospitals are ranked based on a combination of clinical data about medical groups as well as patient evaluations of their experiences with doctors, medical staff and the quality of their personal and medical treatments. The feedback described communication as important in patient care, with more than four out of five patients saying their doctors gave them clear explanations.

The magazine's final annual list results from a survey conducted by Massachusetts Health Quality Partners, an independent agency that compares and evaluates clinical data about medical group performance. They survey included 51,000 adult patients and 20,000 parents of pediatric patients. Hospitals were judged on difficult cases according to a specialty, as well as on reputation and death rate.

The American Hospital Association and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also contributed data, all of which were analyzed by RTI International.

A 2008 edition of America's Best Children's Hospitals was published earlier this year, in which the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was ranked as the number one general pediatric hospital in the nation for the sixth consecutive year. CHOP also ranked first in cancer care, neonatal care and care for respiratory disorders.

"Very sick kids need very special care," U.S. News columnist and rankings-list editor Avery Comarow wrote in a May CHOP press release. "The best places for them are ... facilities with a deep pool of expertise in their particular illness. Breaking out key specialties is crucial to help parents and caregivers find these facilities."

Unlike prior years where rankings information was included online for 170 hospitals ranked in one or more specialties, U.S. News has included all data and scores for the over 1,500 hospitals out of a total 5,453 that were analyzed.

Heather J. Chin can be reached at

©The Evening Bulletin 2008

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