Northwestern Medicine

Northwestern Memorial No. 1 in Chicago and Among America's Best Hospitals in U.S. News & World Report 2011 Rankings

Northwestern Memorial Hospital July 19, 2011

Northwestern Memorial Hospital ranked in 13 of 16 clinical areas.

CHICAGO, IL – Northwestern Memorial Hospital is rated No. 1 in Chicago metro and among America’s best hospitals in 13 clinical specialties as part of U.S. News & World Report’s 2011 America’s Best Hospital rankings. This year, editorial staff for the authoritative and influential guide evaluated nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide and 140 were chosen and ranked according to the Top 50 programs in 16 clinical areas. 

The 16 specialties include cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, ear, nose and throat, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, cardiology and heart surgery, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, psychiatry, pulmonology, rehabilitation, rheumatology and urology.  

Northwestern Memorial is rated in the following 13 specialties: cancer (21), diabetes and endocrine disorders (18), ear, nose and throat (28), gastroenterology (18), geriatrics (29), gynecology (16), cardiology and heart surgery (16), nephrology (31), neurology and neurosurgery (12), orthopaedics (17), pulmonology (30), rheumatology (18) and urology (20). 

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital also made the acclaimed list of top hospitals in the Chicago metro area.  The hospital ranked No. 30, noted as high-performing in the categories of neurology and neurosurgery and orthopaedics. 

The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties were driven by hard data, much of which comes from the federal government, including death rates, procedure volume, and balance of nurses and patients. In the four remaining specialties – ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology – hospitals were ranked solely on reputation among physician specialists. 

To be considered in any of the 12 data-driven specialties, a hospital first had to meet at least one of four criteria: it could be a teaching hospital, it could be affiliated with a medical school, it could have at least 200 beds, or it could have at least 100 beds and have four or more of eight key medical technologies.  This year, 2,196 hospitals, or 46 percent of the initial number surveyed, met the test. 

Next, the hospitals had to meet a volume requirement, individually calculated for each specialty. The required volume was the number of Medicare inpatients discharged in 2007, 2008 and 2009,  who had various specified procedures and conditions in the specialty. A hospital that fell short could still qualify if it had been nominated by at least one percent of the physicians in a specialty who responded to the 2009, 2010 and 2011 reputational surveys. 

To be included in the metro area rankings, a hospital had to score in the top 25 percent among its peers in at least one of the 16 nationally ranked medical specialties.  

View the listings.  The rankings will also be featured in the print issue of U.S. News, available on newsstands August 30.

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