Once more — and for the 20th year in a row — The Johns Hopkins Hospital has taken the top spot in U.S. News & World Report's annual rankings of American hospitals, placing first in five medical specialties and in the top five in 10 others.
Calling the two-decade record "astonishing," the leadership of Johns Hopkins Medicine said the credit belongs to those who have demonstrated continuous commitment to excellence and improvement.
"As much as we've become happily accustomed to saying so, it bears repeating that the credit for this honor belongs to Hopkins Hospital's people — our wonderful nurses and staff, the school of medicine's faculty physicians, residents and fellows, and our many community physicians with whom we have close ties and on whom we greatly depend," said a joint letter of congratulations from Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.
The news is especially welcome this year, they added, "as we watch our campus renewal take form and continue preparations for a leadership role in local, regional and national health care reform." They also noted that Johns Hopkins Medicine's commitment to clinical expertise, safety, and thoughtful, patient-centered expansion is strengthened by the commitment of faculty and staff to the innovative and compassionate care that is the Hopkins hallmark. "You are at the center of our continual search for better treatment, better answers and better discoveries," Miller and Peterson said.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital ranked in the top five in 15 of the 16 specialty categories listed. In addition to landing in the #1 spot on the Honor Roll, the hospital ranked #1 in Ear, Nose and Throat; Gynecology, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Urology and Rheumatology; #2 in Kidney Disorders, Ophthalmology and Psychiatry; #3 in Diabetes and Endocrinology, Gastroenterology (digestive diseases), Geriatrics, Heart and Heart Surgery; #4 in Cancer and Pulmonology (respiratory diseases); #5 in Orthopedics; and #14 in Rehabilitation.
A detailed list of the rankings and information about how they are put together are available at www.hopkinsmedicine.org/usnews and at www.usnews.com/besthospitals.
In June, the magazine also recognized the Johns Hopkins Children's Center as among the nation's top pediatrics departments, ranking it in the top 10 in five specialties. Miller and Peterson said Johns Hopkins broadly supports people's interest in learning more about their health care and efforts to provide third-party evaluations of clinical services, advances in care and safety.
"We know that rankings and ratings all have their weaknesses and strengths, but as health care choices become increasingly important, independent evaluations continue to play a role for our patients, the public, referring physicians and insurers. The elements of what makes us rank high are firmly in place, and we will, as always, strive to make Hopkins Hospital the best choice year after year," the joint statement noted.
This year's guide reports rankings of 152 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialities, 12 of which were supported by hard data such as mortality rates, volume of patients, the availability of new technologies, enhanced patient services, state-certified trauma care, nurse staffing strength, breadth of services, patient safety, discharge planning, the ratio of nurses to patients, certification as a Nurse Magnet Hospital, designation as a National Institute on Aging Alzheimer's Disease treatment center, designation as a National Cancer Institute comprehensive cancer center, designation as an Epilepsy Center by the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, and state certification as a trauma care center. Four specialties were ranked on the basis of reputation alone: ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology.
The reputational results were driven by a survey among a national sample of board-certified specialty physicians.
Overall, the magazine says, its "Best list" ranking methodology "judges medical centers on their competence in complex, demanding situations, often with high-risk patients," as well as on "routine procedures…and unthreatening conditions…."
Miller and Peterson once again congratulated all of the medical centers on the magazine's honor roll. "We are privileged to be in their good company," they said.