UCSF Hospitals Rank Among Nation's Top 10

July 17, 2003
News Office: Janet Basu (415) 502-6397

UCSF Medical Center has been named the seventh best hospital in the nation, making it the highest ranked medical center in Northern California, in a report published by U.S. News & World Report.

Among pediatric care centers, UCSF Children's Hospital ranks No. 10 -- the highest-rated children's medical service in California. Both hospitals are part of the University of California, San Francisco.

Results of the U.S. News 14th annual survey of "America's Best Hospitals" appear in the magazine's July 28 issue, posted today (July 17) at www.usnews.com. The magazine wrote that at the top hospitals, "doctors perform large numbers of tricky and risky procedures . . . (and) incorporate new findings into patient care."

Patients come to UCSF Medical Center from throughout Northern California for treatment that demands exceptional expertise. They are cared for by more than 900 physicians who have access to the most advanced treatments and technologies -- often, they are the specialists who developed them.

Mark R. Laret, chief executive officer of UCSF Medical Center, said, "This is another acknowledgment of the extraordinary medical care provided by our physicians and staff. I'm particularly pleased that UCSF Children's Hospital is not only ranked as best children's hospital in the Bay Area, but is ranked No. 1 in California and one of the top 10 in the country."

"These rankings confirm UCSF Medical Center's position as Northern California's most valuable resource for complex health care for adults and children," he said.

U.S. News & World Report reviewed 6,003 medical centers and ranked 203 of them based on quality of care in more than a dozen medical specialties, such as neurosurgery and cancer. "The sicker the patient, the more pressing the need for the best possible care," according to the magazine. The best hospitals "adhere more closely to advanced treatment guidelines . . . and conduct research that gives desperately ill patients additional options."

The ranking includes an Honor Roll recognizing hospitals for leadership in a wide range of specialties. The 17 Honor Roll hospitals achieved high scores in six or more medical specialties. In order of ranking, they are:

  1. Johns Hopkins Hospital
  2. Mayo Clinic
  3. UCLA Medical Center
  4. Massachusetts General Hospital
  5. Cleveland Clinic
  6. Duke University Medical Center
  7. UCSF Medical Center
  8. Barnes-Jewish Hospital
  9. University of Michigan Medical Center
  10. University of Washington Medical Center
  11. New York-Presbyterian Hospital
  12. Brigham and Women's Hospital
  13. Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  14. University of Chicago Hospitals
  15. Stanford Hospital and Clinics, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (tied)
  16. Vanderbilt University Medical Center

UCSF Medical Center ranks best in Northern California -- as well as among the best in the nation -- in the following specialties:

UCSF also ranks among the top 20 in the nation in ear, nose and throat treatment; psychiatry; orthopedics and heart care and heart surgery.

The "America's Best Hospitals" methodology is based on factors, including a survey of more than 8,000 physicians. Scores also were given for actual versus expected death rates, for nursing staffing ratios and for service issues such as patient education.

The U.S. News ranking comes on top of other positive developments for UCSF:

  • The hospital is treating a record number of adults and children -- more than 3,000 a day in the first half of 2003 -- and adding new beds to accommodate growing demand. Forty percent of patients live in San Francisco; 60 percent come from neighboring counties, throughout California and around the world.

  • In San Francisco Magazine's January 2003 survey of the "Best Doctors" in the Bay Area, 55 percent of those honored were UCSF physicians.

  • While UCSF pediatricians have been caring for children for more than 80 years as pioneers in fields such as neonatal intensive care and fetal surgery, the official state designation "UCSF Children's Hospital" was granted in 2001.

  • UCSF's programs for brain tumors, liver transplant, women's health and comprehensive cancer are nationally designated Centers of Excellence. The UCSF Medical Center transplant service has conducted more kidney transplants than any other hospital in the world.

One core criterion for hospitals included in the U.S. News rankings is affiliation with an academic medical institution. UCSF continues to push the boundaries of medical science, translating discoveries into better patient care. The UCSF School of Medicine's research program ranks fourth in funding from the National Institutes of Health. The UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Dentistry each rank No. 1 and the School of Nursing ranks No. 2 for NIH research funding in their respective fields.