Survey Picks 41 Top Hospitals in U.S.

Criteria Include Safety Practices and Top Performance in High-Risk Procedures

Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD on September 18, 2007
From the WebMD Archives

Sept. 18, 2007 -- Thirty-three hospitals and eight children's hospitals were named top facilities by a health care business group Tuesday.

The facilities, mostly in large cities, got top scores for boosting patient safety standards and for treating high-risk diseases according to scientific evidence. Hospitals also got points if they used electronic prescribing programs.

Hospitals in Oakland, Calif., Pittsburgh, Boston, and Seattle were among those singled out by the Leapfrog Group, a group started by corporations and other large employers worried about health care costs. Children's hospitals in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Detroit were also among top scorers.

The results are based on a survey of 1,285 hospitals.

To score well, hospitals were evaluated in four categories: having intensive care units staffed by specially trained doctors, having computerized order-entry systems for medications and other orders with error-prevention measures, performing procedures such as cardiac catheterization and caring for certain high-risk neonatal conditions, and performing safe practices such as those designed to control hospital-related infections and cut down on medication and treatment errors.


"It's critical that patients select hospitals with adequate experience and a proven track record," says Suzanne Delbanco, CEO of the Leapfrog group.

A growing number of groups, including the federal government, are using report cards to inform consumers about hospital safety. Like this one, the report cards generally measure how often hospitals meet quality and safety standards but don't measure how many patients actually get better or survive their illnesses.

Delbanco says that despite progress, only 10% of hospitals surveyed use computerized systems to keep track of doctors' orders.

Hospitals are also behind on infection control, she says. Only one-quarter of hospitals surveyed fully met the report's standards for optimal infection control. And only 36% of hospitals have "adequate" hand washing procedures in place for all employees, Delbanco says.

"Historically hospitals and docs have believed that hospital-acquired infections are just part of health care," she told reporters Tuesday.

List of Top Hospitals

The 33 hospitals earning top scores were:

  • Alta Bates Summit Medical Center-Summit Campus (Oakland, Calif.)
  • Baystate Medical Center (Springfield, Mass.)
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston)
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston)
  • California Pacific Medical Center-Pacific Campus (San Francisco)
  • Evanston Hospital (Evanston, Ill.)
  • Hamot Medical Center (Erie, Pa.)
  • Harper-Hutzel Hospital (Detroit)
  • Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit)
  • Jame Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute (Columbus, Ohio)
  • Lahey Clinic (Burlington, Mass.)
  • Lehigh Valley Hospital (Allentown, Pa.)
  • Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston)
  • Mayo Clinic Jacksonville-Saint Luke's Hospital (Jacksonville, Fla.)
  • Mayo Clinic Rochester-Saint Mary's Hospital (Rochester, Minn.)
  • Montefiore Medical Center: Moses Division (Bronx, N.Y.)
  • Montefiore Medical Center: Weiler Division (Bronx, N.Y.)
  • Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital (Saint Louis Park, Minn.)
  • Saint Mary's Mercy Medical Center (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • Saint Thomas Hospital (Nashville,Tenn.)
  • Sinai Hospital (Baltimore)
  • Spectrum Health-Butterworth Campus (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  • Stanford Hospital and Clinics (Stanford, Calif.)
  • Summa Health Systems Hospitals-Akron City Hospital (Akron, Ohio)
  • University of California-UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)
  • University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore)
  • University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
  • UPMC Presbyterian Part of UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside (Pittsburgh)
  • Valley Hospital (Ridgewood, N.J.)
  • Vanderbilt University Hospital (Nashville, Tenn.)
  • Vassar Brothers Medical Center (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.)
  • Virginia Mason Medical Center (Seattle)
  • William Beaumont Hospital (Royal Oak, Mich.)

Top Children's Hospitals

The eight top children's hospitals are:

  • Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston (Atlanta)
  • Children's Hospital of Michigan (Detroit)
  • Children's Hospital of Orange County-Orange, Calif.
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinic of Minnesota-Minneapolis (Minneapolis, Minn.)
  • Children's Hospitals and Clinic of Minnesota-Saint Paul (Saint Paul, Minn.)
  • Children's National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.)
  • Cook Children's Medical Center (Fort Worth, Texas)
  • Miller Children's Hospital (Long Beach, Calif.)
WebMD Health News


SOURCES: Leapfrog Hospital Quality and Safety Survey, Leapfrog Group, Sept. 18, 2007. Suzanne Delbanco, CEO, Leapfrog Group. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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