University of Michigan, Beaumont, Harper make U.S. News list of best hospitals

Posted on July 19, 2012

Only three Detroit-area hospitals received national rankings this year from U.S. News & World Report’s 2012-2013 Best Hospitals list after a change in the methodology used to compile the rankings.

The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor, Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak and Harper University Hospital in Detroit made the national rankings, released today.

In 2011, five Detroit-area hospitals had nationally ranked specialties; and in 2010, eight did.

The criteria have shifted from hospital reputation, which has been criticized as being too subjective. This year’s emphasis is more on clinical measures such as patient safety, procedure volume, mortality rates and a mix of care-related factors such as nursing and patient services.

“Taking some of the juice out of high reputational scores gives hospitals with solid clinical data more opportunity to show consumers how they perform,” U.S. News health rankings editor Avery Comarow said in an editorial.

UM was ranked the top hospital in Michigan and 17th nationally, according to the report. It dropped from 14 on the national “honor roll” last year.

“I think it’s an accurate reflection of our standing in a general sense, so the fact that we’re on the honor roll and have been for a long time reinforces our role within health care in the country and in the state,” UM Hospitals CEO Doug Strong said.

“But we can’t live or die by one ranking — there’s a proliferation of rankings around us, and we don’t want to overfocus on any one of them.”

For the past 18 years, UM has been on the honor roll — a designation given to the 17 hospitals around the country that had high scores in at least six specialties.

Beaumont was rated second-best in Michigan with 10 nationally ranked specialties. It typically places third or fourth in the state, said Ananias Diokno, the hospital system’s executive vice president and chief medical officer. It rose in the ranking thanks to the addition of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

“Recently, we’ve been able to attract really top-notch doctors because many of the nationally and internationally recognized physicians are interested in being part of a medical school,” Diokno said.

Harper University Hospital was ranked third statewide, with two nationally ranked specialties.

Henry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center typically have held U.S. News national rankings in various specialties but did not this year.

“We are disappointed in the criteria used by US News, which differs from many other organizations that rank top hospitals,” Dwight Angell, Henry Ford’s director of media relations, wrote in an email. “For example, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest honor for performance excellence that Henry Ford received in 2011, considers multiple factors proven to be critical to a hospital delivering outstanding patient care.”

Complete rankings can be found on the U.S. News website.

By: Meghana Keshavan, Crain’s Detroit