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The Johns Hopkins Hospital Tops U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" 18th Year in a Row - 07/11/2008

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Tops U.S. News & World Report "Honor Roll" 18th Year in a Row

Release Date: July 11, 2008

The Johns Hopkins Hospital has once again - for the 18th consecutive time - earned the top spot in U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of American hospitals, placing first in three medical specialties and very high in 12 others.

“We appreciate this acknowledgment of our commitment to patient care and emphasize as always that we are honored to be in the very good company of our academic medical center peers nationwide,” said a joint letter announcing the good news from Edward D. Miller, M.D., dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, and Ronald R. Peterson, president of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.

“We say it each year and we mean it: this recognition is principally a tribute to the significant contributions made by our faculty, our nurses, our staff and the community physicians to Johns Hopkins Medicine.”

The letter also addressed the “understandable and increasing interest by the public in hospital report cards,” adding that individual decisions about where to go for care are “complex, highly personal and not easily guided by any single ranking or report.”

“We applaud sincere efforts to assess the safety, outcomes and service of institutions like ours, and trust that as they improve over time they will be of even more use in informing the medical community, patients and insurers,” according to Miller and Peterson. Rankings, they added, “tell only part of a great hospital’s story, and we hope the public and their physicians will take this opportunity to learn more about us and all of the ranked institutions.”

In addition to landing at the overall No. 1 spot on the Honor Roll by accumulating 30 points in 15 of the 16 ranked specialties, The Johns Hopkins Hospital ranked No. 1 in Ear, Nose and Throat, Rheumatology, and Urology; No. 2 in Geriatrics, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Neurology and Neurosurgery, Ophthalmology, and Psychiatry; No. 3 in Cancer, Digestive Diseases, Endocrinology, Heart Disease and Heart Surgery, and Respiratory Disorders; No. 6 in Kidney Disease and Orthopedics; and No. 15 in Rehabilitation.

Only 170 hospitals out of 5,453 that went through the magazine’s evaluation process made the rankings standard in one or more specialties this year, and only 19 of the 170 made the Honor Roll of institutions ranked at or near the top in six or more specialties, the magazine reported.

For a detailed list of all the rankings, go to  or to the USN&WR Web site at

According to the magazine, this year’s guide reports results “driven largely by hard data” in 12 of the 16 ranked specialties. For the remaining four, the magazine based its results on three years of nominations by board-certified specialists who were surveyed for each field.

Hospitals first had to qualify for the 12 data-driven specialties by meeting requirements related to teaching, medical school affiliation and advanced technology. Nearly two-thirds of hospitals failed to meet that standard.

The methodology, the magazine says, then evaluates the remaining institutions using such objective indicators as government statistics on death rates, recognized statistics related to patient volumes, nurse staffing and expertise, and such factors as the availability of robotic surgery, self-controlled pain relief, translators, cell transplants for cancer therapy, state-certified trauma care, and discharge planning. Weight was given also to such things as designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center and certification as an Alzheimer’s center by the National Institute on Aging.

In their joint letter, Miller and Peterson stated that the magazine’s recognition is “especially welcome news” as redevelopment of the East Baltimore medical campus goes into high gear. Johns Hopkins also has intensified programs in patient safety, diversity, innovation and medical science education.

Acknowledging the impressive record of topping the list 18 years in a row, Miller and Peterson again enthusiastically authorized the “Employee Thank You” celebration that has marked each year’s announcements.

Other institutions rounding out the honor roll top 10 were the Mayo Clinic, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s and Duke University Medical Center (tied) and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Note: To interview Johns Hopkins Medicine leadership about the rankings or to cover the “thank you” event on Friday, July 11, contact Gary Stephenson at [email protected]

For the Media

Media Contact:

Gary Stephenson
[email protected]; 410-955-5384