U.S.News & World Report Names UAMS Among Best Hospitals

By todd

Geriatrics Program Cited Among 50 Best in the Nation


LITTLE ROCK – For the ninth consecutive year, UAMS Medical Center has been named by U.S.News & World Report to its annual list of “America’s Best Hospitals,” moving up four places from last year. UAMS is the only hospital in the state named to the list.

In its July 12 issue, which hits newsstands July 5, the magazine ranks the geriatrics clinical care program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the state’s only academic medical center, among the best in the nation. The UAMS program came in 32nd, up from 36th last year; and up from 40th in 2002.

This follows an announcement in April that the UAMS geriatrics program has moved from No. 9 to No. 8, ahead of Yale University, in the annual ranking of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” by the news magazine. Also, the UAMS primary care program – which is family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics – debuted this year at No. 52 on the magazine’s best graduate school list.

“It is a great honor to once again be recognized as one of ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ by U.S.News & World Report,” said Richard Pierson, vice chancellor for clinical programs at UAMS, of the most recent recognition. “We are very pleased to be able to provide such an excellent level of care to our patients.”

The Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging at UAMS is designated as a Center of Excellence at UAMS and includes clinical care, research, education and community outreach programs within its scope. Under the direction of David A. Lipschitz, M.D., Ph.D., the Center on Aging and the Donald W. Reynolds Department of Geriatrics have attracted a faculty from around the nation who are considered experts in their fields.

This is the 15th year for the U.S.News & World Report list of “America’s Best Hospitals.” The rankings include 177 different medical centers, narrowed from 6,012 hospitals across the country, in 17 specialties.

“To be named to the list of top-50 geriatrics programs in the U.S. is enormously gratifying,” Dr. Lipschitz said.

Among other hospitals around the country named to the list of those providing the best geriatric care along with UAMS were UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, which was No. 1; the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., at No. 7; NYU Medical Center in New York at No. 16; and the University of Miami’s Jackson Memorial Hospital, just below UAMS at No. 37.

According to U.S.News & World Report, ranked medical centers “fit a certain mold. They are often referral centers, because their physicians see sicker patients and do higher volumes of tough procedures. … They conduct research that migrates from labs and computer databases to the bedside. And they take advantage of improvements in imaging, surgical devices and other technologies.”

The hospitals in the geriatrics listing received scores that equally weighed reputation; mortality; and a group of care-related factors, such as nursing care and technology available. The list of top programs was narrowed to 50.

In determining a hospital’s ranking on reputation, 150 board-certified physicians from every specialty were selected at random from the American Medical Association’s Masterfile of 811,000 doctors and were mailed survey forms. They were asked to list up to five hospitals they believe to be tops in their specialty, without considering location or cost.

The mortality ratio compares in-hospital deaths of Medicare patients admitted in 2000, 2001 and 2002 with certain conditions with the deaths expected after taking severity into account.

Most of the remaining data, such as nursing care and technology availability, came from the 2002 annual survey of hospitals by the American Hospital Association of which UAMS Medical Center is a long-standing member.

The “America’s Best Hospitals” methodology was devised in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which carries out the analysis and refines it as needed.