Methodology: U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals 2013-14
U.S. News & World Report began publishing the Best Hospitals rankings in 1990 to identify the best medical centers for the most difficult patients—those whose illnesses pose unusual challenges because of underlying conditions, procedure difficulty, or other medical issues that add risk. More than one factor can be in play for particular patients. The rankings have appeared annually from the start. Their focus on the most difficult patients is unchanged.
U.S News ranks the top hospitals in 16 different specialties from Cancer to Urology. For 12 of the 16 specialties, the rankings are based on an extensive analysis that combines measures of performance in three primary dimensions of healthcare: structure, process, and outcomes. Rankings in the other four specialties are based on hospital reputation as determined by a physician survey.