Hopkins continues reign as top American hospital

July 08, 2005|By David Kohn | David Kohn,SUN STAFF

For the 15th straight year, Johns Hopkins Hospital has earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report's list of the best American hospitals.

When the streak began, Ray Lewis was an unknown Florida teenager; Cal Ripken was a 29-year-old everyday shortstop; and Kurt Schmoke was mayor.

The magazine's annual rankings, released today, put the East Baltimore institution first in five specialties: ear, nose and throat; gynecology; kidney disease (up from No. 2 last year); rheumatology; and urology. It ranked second in three others: ophthalmology, geriatrics, and neurology and neurosurgery. Hopkins also ranked highly in specialties such as cancer, pediatrics and heart and heart surgery.

"We're pleased. It's a little bit of a relief - when you're in the No. 1 position, there's only one way to go," said Dr. Edward D. Miller, Johns Hopkins Medicine dean and chief executive officer. "It's a nice honor for the institution. We've got a lot of good people."

After Hopkins was the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Four other area hospitals also were ranked. The University of Maryland Medical Center placed 24th in kidney disease; Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital in Towson was 11th in psychiatry; Greater Baltimore Medical Center was 45th in digestive disorders and 46th in cancer; and Sinai Hospital was 49th in heart and heart surgery.

Rankings were based on a formula that consists of a combination of hard data and reputation, as determined by surveys. In 12 of the 17 specialties, hospitals were measured on such factors as mortality ratios, severity of illnesses treated, nurse staffing, use of key technologies, patient and community services and commitment to research.

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