UI Hospitals and Clinics Among Nation’s ‘Elite’

By Vanessa Miller, The Gazette

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics this week again earned the distinction of being the only nationally ranked hospital in Iowa, earning the honor in nine adult specialties, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The publication’s rankings, which are highly regarded nationally, were released this week for the 2014-15 budget year, and UIHC was among only 144 facilities — just 3 percent of the 4,743 analyzed for the “best hospitals” rankings — to be ranked in even one specialty. It ranked in nine out of 16 adult specialties.

UIHC earned its highest placement at No. 8 in the nation for its ophthalmology department, and it also made the Top 10 — at No. 9 — for its ears, nose and throat department. It ranked within the Top 20 for gynecology, at No. 15, and orthopedics, at No. 18. It also ranked in cancer at No. 27, urology at No. 33, neurology and neurosurgery at No. 33, nephrology at No. 40, and cardiology and heart surgery at No. 48. And it earned “high-performing” marks in four adult specialties — diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, and pulmonology.

Earlier this year, U.S. News ranked the UI Children’s Hospital in eight pediatric specialties, meaning the facility is ranked nationally in a total of 17 categories this year.

Jean Robillard, vice president for medical affairs with UI Health Care, said in a news release that the rankings “reflect the outstanding quality of our programs and confirm that we stand among the nation’s elite health care leaders.”

U.S. News used data from the nearly 5,000 hospitals nationally and reviewed surveys of more than 9,500 physicians in ranking the country’s top centers. Death rates, patient safety and hospital reputation were among the factors considered, according to the publication.

Debra Schwinn, dean of the UI Carver College of Medicine, said this year’s rankings — as in previous years — show that “Iowans can be justifiably proud of the excellent patient care, teaching and research done here at Iowa.”

UIHC, a 685-bed general medical and surgical facility that also functions as a teaching hospital, saw 30,537 admissions in the most recent year reported and 1.12 million outpatient visits, according to U.S. News. It performed 11,464 inpatient and 16,412 outpatient surgeries on the year. And its emergency room had 59,889 visits.

Recent patient satisfaction data, which is gathered from discharged patients at many hospitals under a federal program, showed that 78 percent of a sampling of recent UIHC patients said they would “definitely” recommend the hospital to friends and family — topping the 75 percent state average and 71 percent nationally average, according to U.S. News.

UIHC earned a “good” rating in several patient survey categories, although the hospital came in below the state and national averages in some areas — like on the topic of getting help from staff as quickly as they felt they needed it. According to U.S. News, 60 percent of UIHC patients said they always felt they got help as fast as they needed it, compared with a state average of 71 percent and national average of 67 percent.

And on the question of whether it was quiet at night around patient rooms, 47 percent of the sampling of UIHC patients said that always was true, compared with a statewide average of 64 percent and a national average of 60 percent, according to U.S. News.

Among the state’s hospitals, UIHC is ranked No. 1, according to the publication. Earning the No. 2 spot is Genesis Medical Center in Davenport, which received high-performing marks in seven specialties. UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital ranked No. 3 in the state with high-performing distinction in five specialties, and Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids ranked No. 8.

l Comments: (319) 339-3106; vanessa.miller@sourcemedia.net

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