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University Hospitals & Clinics Makes List of ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ for 10th Year

July 17, 2003 — For the 10th straight year, University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics’ range and quality of care has landed it on the U.S.News & World Report list of America’s Best Hospitals.

In the magazine’s 14th annual survey of leading U.S. medical centers, which evaluated specialties of 203 hospitals nationwide, University Hospital ranked in the top 20 percent for its care in obstetrics and gynecology and cancer.

Obstetrics & gynecology departments were rated on care in fertility problems and reproductive cancers. The University was rated 40th in the country in this area. Cancer rankings looked at a medical center’s research into drugs and the genetic underpinnings of the disease. University Hospital works closely with the U of U’s Huntsman Cancer Institute in this area and was ranked 43rd nationwide.

University Hospital’s placement in this year’s U.S. News survey follows the hospital’s best year ever, according to Executive Director Richard A. Fullmer.

“This recognition reflects the quality of University Hospital’s health-care program,”Fullmer said, “and we are so pleased to once again be recognized by U.S. News as one of the best hospitals in the country.”

University Hospital this year was named one of Utah’s Top 10 Family Friendly Companies by the Utah Department of Workforce Services and received a BOSS (Best of State Statue) Award. The hospital also experienced a robust increase in admissions and births.

More than 6,000 hospitals operate nationwide, but to make the best hospitals list, facilities had to meet one of three criteria: membership in the Council of Teaching Hospitals; affiliation with a medical school; or offer at least nine of 17 specified items of technology, such as magnetic resonance imaging.

Additionally, hospitals must perform a minimum number of procedures in specialty areas, or be cited by at least one physician in the past three years of U.S. News surveys.

The medical centers on the list excel for good reasons, according to Richard Folkers, media director at U.S. News.

“For one, their doctors perform large numbers of tricky and risky procedures, and study after study shows that practice makes perfect,” Folkers said in a statement. “The best hospitals, moreover, tend to adhere more closely to advanced treatment guidelines, to incorporate new findings into patient care, and to conduct research that gives desperately ill patients additional options.”

The criteria winnowed the list down to about 2,000 hospitals, which were evaluated in areas such as cancer care, and criteria such as reputation, mortality, and nursing. Hospitals then were ranked up to the top 50 nationwide in various medical specialties. A total of 203 hospitals made the final lists.

The list does not give hospitals an overall ranking. U.S. News will post the complete survey on its Web site,, at 6 p.m. (EST) today (Thursday, July 17).