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Jason Merrill

July 13, 2007 – With an overall ranking of No. 9 in the nation, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its physician partners at Washington University School of Medicine are the only St. Louis area hospital and medical institution listed among America’s super elite medical centers in the U.S.News & World Report “America’s Best Hospitals” issue. Barnes-Jewish earned honors for the 15th consecutive year as part of the newsmagazine’s “Honor Roll,” while ranking among the top in 15 individual specialties.

In the cancer specialty category, the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine was listed as No. 19.

Barnes-Jewish is the only “Honor Roll” hospital within a 300-mile radius of St. Louis to be recognized. In addition, Barnes-Jewish ranked among the top 10 in seven of 15 rated medical specialties and is the only St. Louis hospital to be ranked in more than one category.

The standards used to rank “America’s Best Hospitals” are rigorous. Of 5,462 U.S. hospitals, only 173 have ranked specialties, and only hospitals earning high marks in six or more of 16 select specialties made the “Honor Roll” of America’s best hospitals. Overall, only 18 hospitals made the “Honor Roll,” a list reserved for medical centers with very high rankings in at least six specialties.

By individual specialty, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine rankings are:

  • Ear, nose and throat – 5
  • Respiratory disorders – 6
  • Endocrinology – 7
  • Neurology and neurosurgery – 7
  • Kidney disease – 8
  • Heart and heart surgery – 10
  • Ophthalmology – 10
  • Urology – 12
  • Geriatrics – 14
  • Orthopedics – 14
  • Psychiatry – 15
  • Rheumatology – 17
  • Digestive disorders – 18
  • Cancer – 19
  • Gynecology – 50

The 2007 guide to “America’s Best Hospitals” appears in the July 23 issue of the national newsmagazine, which hits newsstands July 16.

"The U.S.News ‘Honor Roll’ is a tribute to the strength of our 9,300 employees working vigorously everyday to uphold the highest standard of patient care, safety and quality alongside our Washington University physician partners,” says Andy Ziskind, MD, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, part of the BJC HealthCare System. “Our 2,600 nurses, among the first in Missouri to be recognized with Magnet accreditation, support that excellent care with an expertise found only among the nation's top hospitals."

"The team at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and our colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine earn their world-class reputation every day,” says Steven Lipstein, BJC HealthCare president and chief executive officer. “Their accomplishments give hope to patients and families and are a source of pride for BJC HealthCare, our hospitals and the City of St. Louis."

The current “America’s Best Hospitals” methodology was devised in 1993 at the University of Chicago. The 2007 rankings were produced by RTI International in Triangle Park, N.C. Hospitals had to meet a series of progressively tougher standards to be ranked. To be considered at all, a hospital had to satisfy at least one of three requirements: membership in the Council of Teaching Hospitals, medical school affiliation and availability of key technology-related services. From there, hospitals were ranked based on three elements: reputation, death rate and such care-related factors as nursing and patient services.

For the fourth year, a hospital’s Magnet status affected its standing. Barnes-Jewish Hospital was named St. Louis’ first Magnet Hospital in 2003 by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, formally recognizing the hospital for meeting high standards of nursing excellence.

Four specialty areas – ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology – were ranked by reputation only. For the remaining 12 specialties – cancer; heart and heart surgery; digestive disorders; ear, nose and throat; geriatrics; gynecology; endocrinology; kidney disease; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; respiratory disorders; and urology – U.S.News combined each hospital's reputation ranking with quantitative medical data to determine the final scores.