7/15/10

What is a "Best Hospital"?

U.S. News ranked the hospitals again, and my employer came in first, for the 20th year in a row. I can't be unhappy about that!

But how should you choose a hospital anyway? I wrote about that a little while ago - it's more complicated than U.S. News makes it out to be.

Unfortunately, as a recent research article points out, the U.S. News index is based nearly entirely on reputation. Which is not a terrible thing, as I pointed out, just incomplete.

Maybe we should rank hospitals (or, at any rate, medical schools) according to a different index, say social mission? Some folks tried that, and their results are presented in the Annals of Internal Medicine (subscription required).

In that list, Hopkins, as well as NYU - where I trained for residency - are ranked rock-bottom. But the criteria used to quantify social mission has some big problems, as an accompanying editorial points out (sub. req.).

Until we have comprehensive outcome measures, it looks like we're going to have to integrate all indices according to our own individual metrics. Isn't that called reputation?

1 comment:

  1. A hospital of great reputation in the midwest has developed this reputation through a great PR effort and relentless fundraising that has its endowment up; in the 10 figure range. In truth, talking with those who have been patients, the care is indifferent and slow and there is a great emphasis on internal referrals, tests and maximizing income over the well-being and care of patients.

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