Research conducted by RTI International
RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C.—The annual U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals rankings named Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Mayo Clinic as the top three "honor roll" hospitals for 2011–12. The research was conducted by RTI International.
Researchers at RTI collected and analyzed the data and survey information behind the rankings using a respected and well-established methodology, which combined original survey data with secondary analyses of data from various sources, primarily the American Hospital Association and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
This year's version ranks hospitals in 16 different adult specialties, ranging from cancer to heart disease to respiratory disorders and urology. The Best Children's Hospital rankings in 10 pediatric specialties were published online in June. Both sets of rankings will be included in the August print issue of U.S. News & World Report.
For the adult rankings, the researchers looked at almost 5,000 hospitals, and just 140 different hospitals were ranked in at least one specialty.
To qualify for ranking consideration, hospitals in 12 of those specialties had to be a teaching hospital, have a sufficient number of beds, or a sufficient level of important medical technology.
To remain eligible, hospitals had to meet a series of progressively tougher standards to be ranked in those 12 specialties. In the other four specialties, where procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis or Medicare data are unavailable, a hospital's reputation with specialized physicians was the only criterion.
For consideration within a specialty, a hospital must have performed a significant number of defined procedures, or had to have been recommended by at least one physician in the U.S. News & World Report surveys for any of the past three surveys.
Hospitals received a score based on care-related considerations such as technology, nursing, reputation, survival, and patient safety. These represent the three key aspects of quality hospital care: structure, process and outcomes. Hospitals were ranked by their scores.
In addition to compiling the rankings, RTI conducts an ongoing evaluation of the study methodology. More information about the methodology is available at www.rti.org/besthospitals.