U.S. News Ranks Barnes-Jewish Hospital No. 12 in Nation, No. 21 in Cancer Care

July 11, 2008 – For the 16th consecutive year, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and its physician partners at Washington University School of Medicine are the only St. Louis-area hospital or medical institution listed among the country’s elite medical centers in the “America’s Best Hospitals” issue of U.S.News & World Report. Barnes-Jewish earned the No. 12 spot on the magazine’s “Honor Roll” of best hospitals and ranked among the top in 16 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. 21.

Barnes-Jewish is the only “Honor Roll” hospital within a 250-mile radius of St. Louis to be recognized. In addition, the hospital ranked among the top 10 in five of 16 rated medical specialties and is the only St. Louis hospital to be ranked in more than one category.

The standards used to select “America’s Best Hospitals” are rigorous. Of 5,453 U.S. hospitals, only 170 have ranked specialties, and only hospitals earning high marks in six or more of 16 specialties made the “Honor Roll.” Overall, only 21 hospitals are listed on the “Honor Roll.”

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

Ear, nose and throat – 6
Kidney disease – 8
Neurology and neurosurgery – 8
Heart care and heart surgery – 9
Endocrinology – 10
Orthopedics – 11
Respiratory disorders – 12
Ophthalmology – 12
Psychiatry –14
Urology –15
Geriatrics –18
Cancer –21
Digestive disorders – 21
Rheumatology – 21
Gynecology – 40

The 2008 guide to “America’s Best Hospitals” appears online Friday, July 11, at www.usnews.com/besthospitals and in the July 21 issue of the national newsmagazine, which hits newsstands Monday, July 14.

“Ranking on the U.S.News ‘Honor Roll’ speaks to the combination of innovation and medical expertise from our Washington University physician partners and the caring nurses and staff at Barnes-Jewish who work so hard to uphold the highest standards of patient care,” says Andy Ziskind, MD, Barnes-Jewish Hospital president. “What we offer is care found only among national leaders in medicine, and that’s what makes us one of America’s top hospitals.”

The current “America’s Best Hospitals” methodology was devised in 1993 at the University of Chicago. The 2008 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 fifth 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, U.S.News combined each hospital's reputation ranking with quantitative medical data to determine the final scores.