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Hospital rankings released

Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg
February 24, 2008 9:00:00 PM PST
A list was released Monday of the country's best hospitals. Have you ever wondered how the hospitals are chosen?Seven's On Call with Dr. Jay Adlersberg.

There are many criteria to use to rate hospitals. A popular independent Web site today issued its yearly hospital rankings, including what it considers the country's top 50 hospitals.

New York City and Boston are both places with top medical facilities, but curiously, neither one has a hospital in the top 50.

Arthur Levin is the medical advocate at the Center for Medical Consumers. He says lists that rank or compare hospitals are an important trend.

"We are moving towards a more open and transparent healthcare system with information about safety and quality freely available to everybody," he said.

And everybody can see rankings or information online.

On Monday, the independent Web site HealthGrades.com issued its 2008 rankings of hospitals. Some local examples in specific specialties include:

  • The Hospital for Special Surgery for total hip replacement
  • Beth Israel for some neck and back surgeries
  • NYU Medical Center for bariatric surgery
  • Bellevue Hospital for appendectomy
  • New York Presbyterian, Columbia and Cornell for some heart procedures
  • Lenox Hill Hospital for maternity care

    Hackensack Hospital in New Jersey was the only area hospital to be named in the top 50.

    "I have a feeling that most patients and consumers want to know, how does this hospital do with what I am interested in," Levin said. "If I'm going to have knee surgery, I'm really interested in how a hospital prepares for knee surgery. The rest is background, which probably isn't as important to a patient."

    But Levin says New York consumers should also consult the state Web site that offers hospital and doctor information to patients.

    So does the Medicare Web site HospitalCompare.hhs.gov a site that uses the same database as healthgrades.

    The truth is that there can be huge variations in performance from one hospital to another depending on what criteria you use.

    The government Web sites are free. Healthgrades offers free information, but charges for some detailed reports.

    Other helpful Web sites include:
    MedicalConsumers.org NYHealth.gov


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