UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Children's Hospital rank in the top 10 of the nation's best hospitals

By Bonz Otsuki on July 17, 2003

UCSF Medical Center has been named the seventh best hospital in the nation, making it the highest ranked medical center in Northern California, in a report published by U.S.News & World Report.

Among pediatric care centers, UCSF Children’s Hospital ranks No. 10—making it the highest-rated children’s medical service in California. Both hospitals are part of the University of California, San Francisco.

Results of the U.S. News 14th annual survey of “America’s Best Hospitals” appear in the upcoming (July 28) issue of the magazine, to be posted on the web on July 17 at USNews.com. The magazine described the top hospitals as those where “doctors perform large numbers of tricky and risky procedures… (and) incorporate new findings into patient care.”

Patients come to UCSF Medical Center from all over Northern California for treatment that demands exceptional expertise. They are cared for by more than 900 doctors who have access to the most advanced treatments and technologies—often, they are the specialists who developed them.

Mark R. Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center, said, “This is another acknowledgment of the extraordinary medical care provided by our faculty physicians and staff. I’m particularly pleased that UCSF Children’s Hospital is not only ranked as the best children’s hospital in the Bay Area, but is ranked No. 1 in California and one of the top 10 in the country These rankings confirm UCSF Medical Center’s position as Northern California’s most valuable resource for complex health care for adults and children.”

U.S.News & World Report reviewed 6,003 medical centers, and ranked 203 of them based on quality of care in more than a dozen medical specialties, such as neurosurgery and cancer. “The sicker the patient, the more pressing the need for the best possible care,” the magazine’s editors wrote. The best hospitals “adhere more closely to advanced treatment guidelines… and conduct research that gives desperately ill patients additional options.”

The report includes an Honor Roll recognizing 17 hospitals for “unusual breadth of excellence”—those demonstrating leadership in a wide range of specialties. In order of ranking, they are: Johns Hopkins Hospital; Mayo Clinic; UCLA Medical Center; Massachusetts General Hospital; Cleveland Clinic; Duke University Medical Center; UCSF Medical Center; Barnes-Jewish Hospital; University of Michigan Medical Center; University of Washington Medical Center; New York-Presbyterian Hospital; Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; University of Chicago Hospitals; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Stanford Hospital and Clinics;Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

UCSF Medical Center ranks best in Northern California—as well as among the best in the nation—in the following specialties: neurology/neurosurgery; hormonal disorders such as diabetes; respiratory disorders; digestive disorders; pediatrics; gynecology; rheumatology; urology; eye treatments; kidney disease; geriatrics and cancer.

UCSF also ranks among the top 20 in the nation in ear, nose and throat treatment; psychiatry; orthopedics and heart care/heart surgery.

The “America’s Best Hospitals” methodology is based on a series of factors, including a survey of more than 8,000 physicians. Scores also were given for actual versus expected death rates, for nursing staffing ratios, and for service issues such as patient education.

The U.S. News ranking comes on top of other positive developments for UCSF:

* The hospital is treating a record number of adults and children—more than 3,000 a day in the first half of 2003—and adding new beds to accommodate growing demand. Forty percent of patients live in San Francisco; 60 percent come from neighboring counties, throughout California and around the world.
* In San Francisco Magazine’s January 2003 survey of the “Best Doctors” in the Bay Area, 55 percent of those honored were UCSF faculty.
* While UCSF pediatricians have been caring for children for more than 80 years, pioneering in fields such as neonatal intensive care and fetal surgery, the official state designation “UCSF Children’s Hospital” was granted in 2001.
* UCSF’s programs for brain tumors, liver transplant, women’s health and comprehensive cancer are nationally designated Centers of Excellence. The UCSF Medical Center transplant service has conducted more kidney transplants than any other hospital in the world.

One core criterion for hospitals included in the U.S. News rankings is affiliation with an academic medical institution. UCSF continues to push the boundaries of medical science, translating discoveries into better patient care. The UCSF School of Medicine’s research program ranks fourth in grant funding from the National Institutes of Health. The UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry each rank No. 1 and the School of Nursing ranks No. 2 for NIH research funding in their respective fields.

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