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University Hospitals & Clinics Named Among ‘America’s Best Hospitals’ for 11th Year

July 02, 2004 — The University of Utah Hospitals & Clinics has been named one of U.S.News & World Report’s Best Hospitals for the 11th year–Utah’s only health-care institution on the list.

In the magazine’s 15th survey of leading U.S. hospitals, University Hospital was named among the best in gynecology and cancer care for 2004. Only 177 of the country’s 6,012 hospitals–fewer than one in 30–were of high enough quality to be ranked in even one specialty this year, according to the magazine.

University Hospital’s gynecology program was ranked 45th in the country and the cancer program, 47th.
In gynecology, women’s health centers have become prominent in hospitals nationwide and University Hospital’s Women’s and Newborn Center is an important reason the hospital is highly rated in gynecological care.

For cancer care and research, many University Hospital physicians work closely with the U of U’s Huntsman Cancer Institute and the new Huntsman Cancer Hospital, which opened Thursday.

University Hospital Chief Executive Officer Richard A. Fullmer said the national ranking for the 11th year shows that excellent patient care continues to be the top priority of every employee, from administrators to physicians to staff who keep the hospital clean.

“This recognition reflects the quality and pride our employees take in their work,” Fullmer said. “This isn’t new for us. But it always is an honor to be recognized by U.S.News as one of the country’s best hospitals.”

Making the Best Hospitals list in any category is rigorous and health-care institutions have 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 key technologies, such as positron emission tomography (PET). Only 2,113 hospitals qualified under these criteria.

Additionally, hospitals must perform a minimum number of procedures in specialty areas, or had to be cited by at least one physician in the previous three years of U.S.News surveys. Hospitals then were assessed by reputation, death rate, and care-related factors, such as nursing and patient services.

Hospitals on the list “are often referral centers because their physicians see sicker patients and do higher volumes of tough procedures,” said Richard Folkers, the magazine’s director of media relations. “They conduct research that migrates from labs and computer databases to bedside. And they take advantage of improvements in imaging, surgical devices, and other technologies.”

The survey will be published in U.S.News’ July 12 edition that will be available on newsstands July 5.