UCSF Medical Center & Children's Hospital make U.S. News "America's Best Hospitals" list

By Carol Hyman on July 01, 2004

UCSF Medical Center has risen to No. 6 among “America’s Best Hospitals,” and UCSF Children’s Hospital has been recognized as the highest-quality pediatric facility in California and No. 11 in the United States.

In its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” issue, U.S. News & World Report reviewed more than 6,000 hospitals, whittling down the list to fewer than 200 leaders in health care.

Results of the U.S. News 15th annual survey appear in the upcoming July 12 issue of the magazine, and on the web at USNews.com.

“The standards for ranking in ‘Best Hospitals’ is rigorous,” according to the U.S. News & World Report’s descripion of its methodology. “The hospitals in the lists fit a certain mold. They are often referral centers, because their physicians see sicker patients and do higher volumes of tough procedures. And they take advantage of improvements in imaging, surgical devices and other technologies.”

“There is no question, our medical center and children’s hospital meet US News & World Reports criteria to the letter,” said UCSF Medical Center CEO Mark Laret. “Being the best takes a combination of cutting edge research, skilled surgeons and diagnosticians, and the finest, most compassionate nursing and support staff available, and UCSF has all of these qualities and so much more, including treatments, such as our intraoperative MRI, not available anywhere else in the world.”

“Patients from all over the country, and even from other parts of the world, come to UCSF because they know the physicians and researchers here are part of a distinctive team who define excellence,” Laret continued. “This excellence has not only won us awards, but perhaps more important, it has won us the trust and respect of thousands who have been treated by UCSF’s stellar faculty and staff.”

The U.S. News ranking comes during a time of several landmark developments for UCSF:

* In June, UCSF Medical Center received the equivalent of a perfect score on a national accreditation survey of standards for health care and safety. The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) said only 17 percent of hospitals received accreditations with full standards compliance in 2003.

* UCSF was the fourth largest recipient of total National Institutes of Health research funds among all institutions in 2003, receiving $420.7 million in the nationally competitive process, according to the NIH’s recently announced rankings.

* UCSF Medical Center has opened the new UCSF Spine Center, which brings together specialists with expertise in treating adult and pediatric spinal disorders. The Spine Center team includes orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, neurologists, cancer specialists, physiatrists (who specialize in rehabilitation and non-operative care of spinal disorders), radiologists, rheumatologists (arthritis specialists), nurses, physical therapists, pain specialists and complementary medicine specialists.

* UCSF Medical Center is bringing together cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons and other specialists to form a new Heart and Vascular Center. The center will integrate all forms of heart and vascular disease at one site to provide patients with the most advanced heart care treatments available—many of which were pioneered at UCSF.

The “America’s Best Hospitals” methodology is based on a series of factors, including a survey of more than 8,000 physicians. The methodology was devised in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which has carried out and refined the analysis ever since.

Another decisive factor for hospitals included in the U.S. News rankings is affiliation with an academic medical institution. UCSF’s strength at translating basic research into clinical care has made it a leader in the discovery and application of groundbreaking treatments for rare and complicated diseases and conditions.

“Our proven ability to move research from bench to bedside—from UCSF Nobel laureates conquering new fields to physicians in our Intensive Care Nursery saving the lives of our tiniest patients—has made UCSF the standout facility it has been for years, and will continue to be as we treat new generations and discover new cures,” Laret said. “With one of the top four medical research programs in the country, research at UCSF is being translated to treatment in areas such as kidney transplants, where UCSF has done more than any center in the world, to fetal treatment, where birth defects are being treated with techniques pioneered here.”

The medical centers on U.S. News &World Report’s Honor Roll are:

1. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore

2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

3. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

4. Cleveland Clinic

5. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles

6. (tie) Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco (last year UCSF was No. 7)

8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis

9. (tie) New York Presbyterian Hospital
University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle

10. University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor

11. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston

12. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia

14. Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, Calif.