U.S. News Ranks UAMS Medical Center Top Hospital in Metro Area

By Jon Parham

In addition to the ranking announced today, UAMS Medical Center was recognized as “high performing” in four specialties: cancer, obstetrics/gynecology, ear/nose/throat (ENT) and nephrology (kidney). The rankings, annually published by U.S. News for the past 22 years, are to be featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals guidebook, which goes on sale Aug. 30 and is available online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals.

The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area. The publication includes Little Rock, North Little Rock and Conway in the Little Rock metropolitan area.

“This recognition represents a lot of hard work by all of our physicians and staff to provide our patients with the kind of world-class care they need,” said Richard Pierson, UAMS vice chancellor for clinical programs and executive director of UAMS Medical Center. “We are pleased to have been recognized on the best hospital list for central Arkansas and challenged to continue delivering on our mission of improving health in the entire state of Arkansas.”

In addition to a staff that includes many physicians nationally and internationally known in their specialties, UAMS Medical Center opened a new facility in 2009 that incorporated the latest in medical technology. In 2010, the hospital became the first in the state to achieve Level 1 designation by the state Department of Health for providing the highest level of trauma care as part of the new statewide trauma system.

The core mission of Best Hospitals is to help guide patients who need an especially high level of care because of a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age.

“These are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high.”

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings are available online at http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area.

“These are hospitals we call ‘high performers.’ They are fully capable of giving most patients first-rate care, even if they have serious conditions or need demanding procedures,” Comarow said. “Almost every major metro area has at least one of these hospitals.”

Hard numbers stand behind the rankings in most specialties — death rates, patient safety, procedure volume and other objective data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.

The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Related Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; a 540,000-square-foot hospital; a statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, the Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy, the Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, the Psychiatric Research Institute, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and the Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,836 students and 761 medical residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including nearly 1,150 physicians who provide medical care to patients at UAMS, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and UAMS’ Area Health Education Centers throughout the state. Visit www.uams.edu or uamshealth.com.