Hospital Rankings – Not All Hospitals Are Created Equal

How are Hospitals Ranked?

It varies. Most of the data is collected through benchmarking surveys and patient surveys. Patients are polled on how good communication with staff was, cleanliness, staff attentiveness and more. Data is also collected periodically on mortality numbers, number of patients admitted, number of patients discharged, services available, number of doctors and nurses on staff, level of noise and more.

Best Resources for Hospital Rankings

There are several organizations that rank and grade hospitals in detail. We suggest:

  1. US News – America’s Best Hospitals – You can use this site to view America’s best hospitals by Specialty (Cancer treatment, Children’s care, etc). These rankings are our favorite because they go so in depth. Analyze each hospital’s Mortality Index, Nurse Staffing Ratio, Patient Safety Index, Technology Ratings and more.
  2. US Department of Health and Human Services – Hospital Quality Care – This tool, provided by Medicare, allows you to see how well hospitals care for patients by the specific medical conditions they were treated for.
  3. Thomson Reuters – Top Hospital Rankings – This site is useful if you’re serious about checking a hospital’s ranking, and you’re willing to pay. You can order a full 100 Top Hospitals Report, which compiles the last two years of data to identify the nation’s top providers. If you don’t want to pay, but you want to check to see if your hospital is on the report, you can still see which hospitals made it to the Top 100.
  4. The Joint Commission – This organization provides reports on accredited healthcare organizations (not necessarily hospitals). Visitors can search for organizations by state, service or provider, and view performance reports and patient satisfaction ratings.
  5. NetDoc Hospital Rankings – This handly little tool ranks hospitals by location. You simply type in your zip code, and it pulls up a map dotted with colorful circles indicating hospitals in your area. Green means Best, and Red means worst.