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Akron General ranks among nation’s best hospitals

By Cheryl Powell
Beacon Journal medical writer

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Akron General Medical Center ranks among the nation’s top hospitals when it comes to caring for patients with lung conditions and ear, nose and throat problems.

This year’s U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals report released today ranks Akron General 39th in the nation for ear-nose-throat and 43rd for pulmonology.

“It just continues to confirm what I’ve known for a long time: This is a good place,” said Dr. Thomas “Tim” Stover, president and chief executive of Akron General Health System. “We’re trying to get the word out, and other people are recognizing this. It’s a testament to the people who work here.”

Two Cleveland-based hospitals — the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals Case Medical Center — are recognized in numerous specialties, earning spots on the national “honor roll” as the best overall facilities. MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland also is ranked 40th for diabetes/endocrinology.

The Cleveland Clinic once again ranks as the fourth best overall hospital nationwide and No. 1 for cardiology/heart surgery.

The Cleveland Clinic earns top 10 status nationwide in a total of 14 of the 16 ranked specialties, including second in diabetes/endocrinology, gastroenterology/GI surgery; nephrology; rheumatology; and urology. Other rankings include third in gynecology, orthopedics and pulmonology; sixth in neurology/neurosurgery and ear-nose-throat; seventh in geriatrics and ophthalmology; and ninth in cancer.

University Hospitals joins the Cleveland Clinic on the honor roll for the first time this year, ranking as the 18th best overall facility in the nation.

UH is recognized as among the top 50 hospitals in the nation in 12 specialties: 13th in gastroenterology/GI surgery, 15th in cancer, 16th in orthopedics, 17th in urology, 18th in ear-nose-throat, 19th in cardiology/heart surgery, 21st in geriatrics, 22nd in nephrology, 23rd in neurology/neurosurgery, 24th in gynecology, 26th in diabetes/endocrinology and 38th in pulmonology.

“We are extremely proud that University Hospitals Case Medical Center has been named as one of the top 20 hospitals in the country,” Dr. Fred C. Rothstein, president of UH Case Medical Center, said in a news release. “This honor is a reflection of our commitment to exceptional patient care, academic leadership and renowned clinical research.”

The complete 24th Best Hospitals report from U.S. News — including a list of unranked hospitals that are considered “high performing” — is available online at www.usnews.com/best-hospitals.

Hospitals often tout their inclusion on the prestigious list in ads, billboards and other marketing initiatives.

Researchers for the list considered reputation among doctors, death rates, infection rates and other care-related factors, such as nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nearly 5,000 hospitals were graded as part of the news magazine’s annual ranking. Fewer than 3 percent scored high enough to rank nationwide in at least one category .

Pediatric hospitals were evaluated in a previous report that also is available online.

As part of the report, the magazine also rates the top hospitals in each state.

The Cleveland Clinic ranks as the best overall hospital in Ohio, followed by UH.

Akron General is the highest Akron-area hospital, rated fifth statewide — an improvement from seventh last year.

Summa Akron City and St. Thomas hospitals tie with Aultman Hospital in Canton as 13th best in Ohio.

Dr. Erik Steele, Summa’s chief medical officer, said the health system “will look systematically at all of the criteria used to develop the rankings to better understand how we might improve as we continue our commitment to provide excellent health care in the communities we serve.”

Summa didn’t earn any national rankings in specialties this year.

“Providing the very best care to our community is the most important thing that we do, and we are very proud of the many awards that Summa has won for clinical excellence,” he said. “So while we are disappointed with our position in the U.S. News rankings, we do not think that the rankings reflect the high quality of service that we provide.”

Cheryl Powell can be reached at 330-996-3902 or cpowell@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow Powell on Twitter at twitter.com/abjcherylpowell.


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