U.S. News ranks the top 20 hospitals in the nation, plus the best hospitals in each state and metro area.
Somewhere in America, at a pace of about once per second, a patient checks into a hospital. With more than 33 million hospitalizations a year and so many patients on whom to sharpen their skills, hospitals could be expected to meet the most demanding standards for quality and safety.
Yet too many hospitals fail even those whose medical needs are relatively straightforward – such as hip replacement, uncomplicated heart bypass surgery or removal of a cancerous section of colon. The hospital that makes treating patients like these its bread and butter is the very definition of a community hospital, and it should perform at a high standard.
Even fewer hospitals excel at caring for patients with especially challenging or complex diagnoses, for whom the stakes may be a matter of life or death. For those patients, venturing beyond a trusted community hospital to seek care at a truly exceptional medical center, even one farther from home, may be the wisest option.
To help readers narrow their search for hospitals that best match their needs, U.S. News ranks hospital performance in 16 areas of complex specialty care and also rates hospitals in nine bellwether procedures and conditions such as heart bypass, hip and knee replacement, heart failure and lung cancer surgery.
The Best Hospitals Honor Roll takes both the specialty rankings and the procedure and condition ratings into account. Hospitals received points if they were nationally ranked in one of the 16 specialties – the more specialties and the higher their rank, the more points they got – and also if they were rated “high performing”in the nine procedures and conditions. The top 20 point-getters made up the Honor Roll, which has a maximum total of 480 points.