U.S. News Ranks Barnes-Jewish Hospital No. 9 in Nation, No. 24 in Cancer Care

Jason Merrill

July 16, 2009 – For the 17th 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. 9 spot on the magazine’s “Honor Roll” of best hospitals and ranked 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. 24.

Barnes-Jewish is the only “Honor Roll” hospital within a 250-mile radius of St. Louis to be recognized 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 4,861 U.S. hospitals, only 174 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:

Kidney disease – 8
Neurology and neurosurgery – 8
Respiratory disorders – 9
Ear, nose and throat – 10
Endocrinology – 11
Orthopedics – 11
Heart care and heart surgery – 12
Ophthalmology – 14
Psychiatry –14
Digestive disorders – 15
Rheumatology – 18
Urology –21
Geriatrics –22
Cancer –24
Gynecology – 31

The 2009 guide to “America’s Best Hospitals” appears online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals and in the August issue of the national newsmagazine, which hits newsstands July 20.

“Consistently ranking on the U.S.News ‘Honor Roll’ places Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University in elite company,” says Andy Ziskind, MD, Barnes-Jewish Hospital president. “When you combine the fact we’re able to offer our patients treatments few in the country can with the compassion of our caring nurses and staff, you realize that’s why we’re national leaders in medicine.”

The current “America’s Best Hospitals” methodology was devised in 1993 at the University of Chicago. The 2009 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 four elements: reputation, death rate, patient safety and such care-related factors as nursing and patient services.

For the sixth 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.