Best Hospitals 2013-14: U.S. News & World Report

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been named one of the nation’s top medical schools by U.S. News and World Report

Above taken from Johns Hopkins’ Website
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Aging Parents, Best Hospitals, 16 Specialties

U.S. News’ “Best Hospitals” issue came out mid-July, and no doubt hit the news stands the day I left for Arizona and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. There’s neither Wi Fi nor cell service unless you drive from the Rim to-I believe–the Ranger Office (“a building near the gas station,” I was told).  So I’m playing “Catch-up” today.

Help! Aging Parents continues a tradition begun in 2010 with the “Best Hospitals 2013-14: Overview and Honor Roll.” Once again Johns Hopkins is #1 in the US, including #1 Geriatrics Department.

CBS News reported on the Best Hospitals issue. The video has excellent patient information that goes beyond the text about hospital rankings. Rankings, magazine text, and my text follow.

From the Hopkins’ website: Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Hospital reclaimed the No. 1 spot after last year losing a 21-year reign to Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. In order of rank, the Honor Roll hospitals are:

Rank Hospital Points Specialties
1 Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore 30 15
2 Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 29 16
3 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. 29 15
4 Cleveland Clinic 27 14
5 UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles 19 13
6 Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago 17 12
7 New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, N.Y. 17 10
7 UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco 17 10
9 Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston 16 10
10 UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 15 10
11 Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 12 11
12 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C. 12 9
13 Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles 12 8
14 NYU Langone Medical Center, New York 11 8
15 Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis 10 9
16 IU Health Academic Health Center, Indianapolis 7 7
17 Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia 7 6
18 University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland 6 6

In most specialties, U.S. News ranks the top 50 hospitals nationwide. This year, 147 different hospitals earned a ranking in at least one specialty. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, for example, ranked first in Cancer. The Cleveland Clinic topped the Cardiology & Heart Surgery rankings. And the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, N.Y., snagged No. 1 in Orthopedics. Hospitals that ranked nationally in any specialty have the skill and experience to treat the most complex and demanding cases that can arise in that area of medicine.

Some patients might be unable to travel far for care — or may not need to because their condition is more straight-forward. To help them find care close to home, U.S. News ranks more than 700 hospitals by state, region and metro area. These Best Regional Hospitals are highly proficient in serving the needs of the majority of patients in at least one specialty. I especially like this paragraph and the link. So often, in emergency situations, we don’t have time to research where to go; sometimes we can’t go far; and for the more “garden variety” problems a nationally ranked hospital may not be necessary.

That said, click this link http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals to research a particular medical specialty and find the best hospitals with that specialty. For example, Mt. Sinai, which had the #1 Geriatrics rating in 2010 and 2011, was #2 in 2012, and is #4 for 2013-14. The top 10 Geriatrics Departments:

  1. Johns Hopkins
  2. Mayo Clinic (Rochester)
  3. UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles)
  4. Mt. Sinai Medical Center (NY)
  5. Hospital for Special Surgery (NY)
  6. Massachusetts General (Boston)
  7. Cleveland Clinic
  8. UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco)
  9. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  10. NYU Langone Medical Center (NY)

The US News & World Report “Best Hospitals” issue is always an excellent resource. I’ve copied from the website (italicized above) and added links and my text, with the goal of helping parents age well.

Aging Parents, US News Best Hospitals 2012-2013 and 5 Reasons to Consider Them

It’s July.  US News & World Report comes out with its “Best Hospitals” issue http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/rankings once again. Topping the list with the most specialties ranking #1 in the country: Massachusetts General (above) in Boston. It replaces Johns Hopkins in Baltimore which becomes #2.

In the Geriatrics specialty category Johns Hopkins replaces Mt. Sinai in NY as #1. Mt. Sinai becomes #2.

17 hospitals nationwide make the “Honor Roll” because they have the most number of high-ranking specialties: http://health.usnews.com/health-news/best-hospitals/articles/2012/07/16/best-hospitals-2012-13-the-honor-roll#comments. Granted, rankings have their shortcomings and there are many fine hospitals serving all parts of the country. (Note 148 hospitals have a #1 ranking in one specialty area…here’s how these rankings work)

5 reasons to consider the best hospitals’ specialties
to help aging parents

1. Approximately the same time is involved, be it for procedures done in excellent hospitals or less than excellent hospitals; with excellent doctors or less excellent doctors. Only the outcomes may be different.

2. When quality of life is at risk, the more experienced the hospital and medical professionals are (the more times they’ve done your parents’ needed procedure) the better the odds to have encountered–and handled well–unexpected problems.

3. Older people don’t bounce back so quickly. Patients lose independence in hospitals. It’s important they gain the confidence to feel some control. Ideally professionals working in the best hospitals’ specialties departments should have done “it” (what ever your parents’ medical situation is), worked with “it,” handled “it”–over and over and over.  Thus, they can instill confidence in you and your parents based on countless experiences with the expected and unexpected.

4. It takes hard work to recover well from certain procedures.  The skill of the professionals in the follow-up is a significant factor in hastening recovery and instilling a positive outlook. Elderly parents need to do whatever is necessary to move forward so the hospital experience doesn’t take then down a notch.

5. And yet–there are emergencies when we do what we must in a hurry. And there are times when we know the decisions we make are crucial and we may get only one chance to do it right. But even then, the professionals in the best hospitals can come to the rescue.

If a particular hospital has been a Godsend for aging parents, please communicate that–either in COMMENT below or CONTACT above. Indeed Karen’s comment about her mother’s need of more expert help and her experience with a geriatrician at Mt. Sinai is heartening– https://helpparentsagewell.com/2010/09/13/update-on-best-hospitals-geriatric-division-visit/–just what we’d hope for as we try to help parents age well.

Update–Best Hospital Geriatric Department Visit

Unless it’s an emergency, simply deciding to take a major step to help parents age well often takes time.  And once the decision is made, additional time may be necessary before an aging parent receives help.

My July 17th post, Aging Parents, Best Hospitals, 16 Specialties, 5 Reasons to Consider Them encouraged at least one adult child to make an appointment at Mt. Sinai, ranked #1 in geriatrics. Her email:

Hi Susan,
Just wanted to let you know that it took a while to get my mother (age 90) an appointment at the Martha Stewart Living Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital but it was well worth the wait.  Her evaluation was quite thorough.  It took over two hours.  Some of her medications were changed; the geriatrician recommended that she start physical therapy again; and consulted with her primary physician.

Today I visited her and asked her how she was feeling
with her new medications.  She said she no longer felt “foggy” and “sleepy” and that this new drug helped the chronic pain she was feeling. What was this drug?  Tylenol! It replaced the potent pain killer she had been taking.  Thank you for bringing this geriatric clinic to my attention.  We go back for a follow-up in a few months.  Karen

PS. She loved the geriatrician who treated her with such respect and interest.  He paid attention to everything she said, did not rush and really treated her like a person. It was so wonderful for me to see her treated so well.

Dear Karen,
Thank you for sharing.  It sounds like it may often be necessary to wait for an appointment. That’s helpful to know. And it’s wonderful to know that your elderly mother is feeling alert, has less pain and “loved” the geriatrician.  Susan
*                 *                   *                    *                      *
Because many caring children with aging parents are on fast forward and overload, it’s understandable that we put off initiating certain things that may help our parents–until it’s a crisis.  It sounds like Karen didn’t wait for a crisis.  So like Karen, we may save our parents discomfort–and ourselves precious time and concern about their discomfort–if we just “do it.”

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Related: Healthgrades Geriatric Medicine State Directory 

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely tips, information and research from top universities. respected professionals and selected publications–to help parents age well.



Aging Parents, Best Hospitals, 16 Specialties, 5 Reasons to Consider Them

Mt. Sinai Hospital Ranked #1 in Geriatrics–2010-2011

PLEASE GO TO JULY 2013 POST FOR MOST RECENT UPDATES

Mt. Sinai Hospital’s Geriatrics Department, started by Dr. Robert Butler in 1982, (last Tuesday’s post) was ranked #1 in the August 2010  US News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” issue, on news stands this week. An additional 49 hospitals’ geriatric departments complete the list.

Fifteen other specialty departments are also ranked. And Johns Hopkins Hospital ranks #1 as the top hospital in the country–having 15 of the 16 specialties ranking at or near the top. US News & World Report compiles this list every year (and has done so for over 20 years) “to guide patients who need an unusually high level of hospital care” (which includes high-risk patients).  Can’t this information be of enormous benefit to help aging parents?

Life takes on a more delicate balance as people age.  Making well-informed decisions ups the odds in our efforts to help parents age well.

5 reasons to consider the best hospitals’ specialties to help aging parents

1. Approximately the same time is involved, be it for procedures done in excellent hospitals or less than excellent hospitals; with excellent doctors or less excellent doctors. Only the outcomes may be different.

2. Quality of life is at risk; the more experienced the hospital and medical professionals are (the more times they’ve done your parents’ needed procedure) the better the odds to have encountered  and handled well unexpected problems.

3. Older people don’t bounce back so quickly. Patients lose independence in hospitals. It’s important they gain the confidence to feel some control. Ideally professionals working in the best hospitals’ specialties departments should have done “it” (what ever your parents’ medical situation is), worked with “it,” handled “it”–over and over and over.  Thus, they can instill confidence in you and your parents based on countless experiences with the expected and unexpected.

4. It takes hard work to recover well from certain procedures.  The skill of the professionals in the follow-up is a significant factor in hastening recovery and instilling a positive outlook. Elderly parents need to do whatever is necessary to move forward so the hospital experience doesn’t take then down a notch.

5. And yet–there are emergencies when we do what we must in a hurry. And there are times when we know the decisions we make are crucial and we may get only one chance to do it right. But even then, the professionals in the best hospitals can come to the rescue.

Have you had this experience?

Two true stories will bring the “best hospitals” theme to life in this coming Tuesday’s post. One an emergency (stroke); the other a well-thought out (after arguments and pressure) plan to treat advanced colon cancer. While not planned at the outset of the each health crisis, the best hospitals figured prominently in both. In the meantime, US News & World Report is at your newsstand now.