Published in the July 21 issue of U.S. News & World Report, the guide ranks clinical programs at Clarian, a partner of Indiana University School of Medicine, in nine of the 16 specialties evaluated. This is U.S. News’ 20th year of ranking America’s elite medical centers “to help patients find the best hospital when the need is great”; it is Clarian/IUSM’s 12th consecutive appearance in the guide.
In June, seven specialty programs at Riley Hospital for Children were ranked among the top 30 children’s hospitals in the nation. Riley’s urology program was ranked third in the nation.
The complete guide and hospitals rankings are available online at www.usnews.com.
Clarian’s recognized programs and their numerical rankings are:
“We are honored to be listed alongside the top hospitals in the country,” said Daniel F. Evans, Jr., president and CEO of Clarian Health. “This is our second recognition this year, as Riley Hospital for Children was recognized among the nation’s top pediatric hospitals. I’m extremely proud of the hard work by all our staff and physicians at Clarian and the IU School of Medicine to improve the health of our patients and our community. It’s their daily dedication that moves us toward a preeminent health care system.”
“These rankings once again demonstrate the dedication to quality care and service by the Clarian Health and School of Medicine physicians and faculty, caregivers and staff. I commend all those who make this partnership a successful contributor to the health of Hoosiers and to our life sciences initiative,” said D. Craig Brater, M.D., dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine and IU vice president for life sciences.
U.S. News & World Report Methodology:
Hard data, such as death rates and numbers of nurses, largely determined 12 of the 16 specialty rankings. To be a candidate for these specialties, a hospital first had to meet any one of three criteria: be a teaching hospital, have at least 200 beds, or have at least 100 beds and at least four out of eight important medical technologies, such as current-generation CT scanners and precision radiation therapies. This year, 44 percent of all hospitals met that test.
Hospitals that passed that test next had to show a minimum number of Medicare inpatient discharges for certain procedures and conditions in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The number varied by specialty–325 in cancer, for example. Or they had to have been nominated by at least one physician in U.S. News surveys in 2007, 2008 and 2009.
The 1,859 hospitals left received a U.S. News Score from 0 to 100, based on reputation, death rate, patient safety and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. The 50 highest scorers are ranked. (Scores and complete data for the rest are also provided.)
The details: Reputation counted as 32.5 percent of the score. Each year U.S. News draws a random sample of 200 physicians from a national database for each of 12 specialties. They are asked to list five hospitals they consider among the best in their specialty for difficult cases, without taking into account cost or location. The figure shown for “reputation” in the rankings is the total percentage of the specialists in 2007, 2008 and 2009 who named the hospital in their response.
A mortality index made up 32.5 percent of the score. It indicates a hospital’s ability to keep patients alive. Taking into account Medicare inpatients with certain conditions, it represents a comparison of the number of deaths within 30 days of admission in 2005, 2006 and 2007 with the number of deaths that would have been expected given the severity of each patient’s illness. An index number above 1.00 means the hospital did worse than expected; below 1.00, better than expected. A program used by many hospitals and researchers called the 3M Health Information Systems APR-DRG made adjustments to the index according to the severity of each patient’s condition.
A new patient safety index comprised 5 percent of the score. It shows how well a hospital minimizes harm to patients. Two of the seven index items, for example, are deaths of patients whose conditions should not have put them at significant risk, and incisions that reopen after surgery.
Other care-related factors, 30 percent of the score. Includes nurse staffing, technology and other care-related information. The primary source was the American Hospital Association’s 2007 survey of member and nonmember hospitals.
Another safety-associated change this year is that hospitals now receive credit for employing staff intensivists–physicians with special expertise in caring for patients in intensive care.
In the four remaining specialties–ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology–hospitals were ranked on reputation alone, because so few patients die that mortality data mean little. As in the other 12 specialties, U.S. News surveyed specialists and used their responses for the most recent three years. Ranked hospitals were cited by at least 3 percent of the responding physicians.