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U.S. News ranks URMC as top rated area hospital

In its first ever regional ranking of major metropolitan area hospitals, U.S. News and World Report placed the University of Rochester Medical Center as the top rated hospital in the Rochester area.

The magazine has been ranking hospitals for over 20 years but expanded it this year to include regional rankings in the 52 largest metropolitan areas, explained URMC spokeswoman Teri D’Agostino. 

The listing recognizes hospitals with a top 25 percent ranking in at least one of 16 medical specialties.

“We’re number one in the Rochester area because we have 11 high performance specialties,” D’Agostino said.

URMC high performance specialties included: cancer, endocrinology, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neurology, orthopaedics, pulmonology and urology.

“We know from our own analysis of U.S. News’ methodology that a number of URMC’s programs including gynecology, urology and kidney disease are among the top 60 in the nation,” said Dr. Robert Panzer,  URMC chief quality officer. “So being recognized in 11 of the 12 specialties that include a quality component (the other four factors were based on reputation) validates our efforts to consistently improve the quality and safety of our patients’ care and be at the level of the best programs nationally.”

D’Agostino said the magazine’s methodology “is getting better” but is just one of several hospital rankings and URMC has other ways of comparing itself to similar hospitals. The University HealthSystem Consortium is URMC’s “most definitive measure” in that it compares URMC against its peers.

D’Agostino said the U.S. News study includes smaller hospitals that may not offer the same services or serve as many patients.

“U.S. News is something consumers do watch,” D’Agostino said. “It’s one more piece of information. When patients are facing serious cancer [for example], they’ll look at resources such as this.”

Of the 13 hospitals in the area, the ranking listed Rochester General Hospital second with nine ranked specialties and Highland Hospital third with one (gynecology).

In the Buffalo area, Roswell Park Cancer institute took the top ranking followed by Buffalo General Hospital and Kenmore Mercy Hospital. 

U.S. News also compiled an honor roll of the top hospitals in the country using the specialty criteria. Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital took the top honor roll spot followed by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

The entire rankings, along with an explanation of the criteria used, may be found at www.usnews.com/hospitals.

“No matter how skilled or deep their expertise, even ‘best hospitals’ don’t do everything right,” said U.S. News & World Report writer Avery Comarow. “But when high stakes call for unusual capabilities, they are hospitals that can save lives that might be lost or preserve quality of life that might be sacrificed.”