News Release

Date: July 16, 2009 

Continuing Excellence: UC San Diego Medical Center Among Nation’s Best 

 

Ranked in Six Specialties by US News & World Report

UC San Diego Medical Center is once again the only San Diego hospital ranked among the nation’s best in six specialties in U.S. News & World Report’s new 2009 “America’s Best Hospitals” issue.

USNWR seal

UC San Diego Medical Center is recognized among the nation’s best in Respiratory Disorders, Cancer, Kidney Disorders, Psychiatry, Rheumatology, and Urology, in the 2009 – 2010 issue of “Best Hospitals,” available today on newsstands in select areas. UC San Diego Medical Center is also one of only 43 hospitals ranked in six or more specialties.

“No other local hospital ranks in as many areas as UC San Diego Medical Center, an appropriate position for the region’s only academic medical center,” said David Brenner, MD, vice chancellor for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. “This national survey highlights the high caliber of care giving and instruction delivered daily at UC San Diego.”

Now in its 20th year, this multi-platform “America's Best Hospitals” guide is the most extensive hospital ranking to-date. It includes rankings of 174 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties. Approximately half of the hospitals were ranked in only a single specialty.

"When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you," said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor. "These are hospitals that are used to getting the sickest patients."

UC San Diego Medical Center operates two hospitals and multiple primary and specialty care outpatient centers in Hillcrest, La Jolla and Scripps Ranch. Ophthalmology services are offered at the UCSD Shiley Eye Center in La Jolla. Advanced cancer care is provided at Moores UCSD Cancer Center, the region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. The Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center is under construction on the La Jolla campus and a new inpatient tower is in the planning stage.

Rankings:

The 16 specialties ranked by US News & World Report are cancer; diabetes & endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ear, nose, and throat; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.

UC San Diego Medical Center rankings:

Methodology

The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties weigh three elements equally: reputation, death rate, and a set of care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. In these 12 specialties, hospitals have to pass through several gates to be ranked and considered a Best Hospital:

1. The first gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked at all by requiring that any of three conditions be met--to be a teaching hospital, to be affiliated with a teaching hospital, or to have at least six important medical technologies from a defined list of 13.

2. The second gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked in a particular specialty. To be eligible, the hospital had to either have at least a specified volume in certain procedures and conditions over three years, or had to have been nominated in the magazine’s yearly specialist survey.

3. The third gate is whether a hospital does well enough to be ranked, based on its reputation, death rate, and factors like nurse staffing and technology.

In the four other specialties—ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology—ranking is based solely on reputation, derived from the three most recent physician surveys.

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Media Contact: Kim Edwards, 619-543-6163, kedwards@ucsd.edu