Three organizations, U.S. News and World Report, Healthgrades, Newsweek, and have all independently released rankings of the top hospitals for 2021 in the United States. These rankings may be the most important to date; hospitals across the country have been rigorously scrutinized for their actions during the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken to mitigate the spread of infection throughout their staff and facilities.
Published in July 2020, shortly after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. News & World Report released their 2020-21 Best Hospitals Honor Roll and Medical Specialties Rankings. The purpose of this list is to help readers narrow their search for a hospital that matches their needs, and the organization rates hospitals in 10 bellwether procedures and conditions such as colon cancer surgery, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart bypass surgery as well as 16 areas of specialty care.1 The methods of compiling the list are as follows:
- Hospitals receive points if they were rated high performing in any of the 10 procedures and conditions.
- Hospitals receive points if they were nationally ranked in 16 specialties–the more specialties, the more points awarded.
The top 10 hospitals ranked in the U.S News & World Report Honor Roll are:
- Mayo Clinic–Rochester, Rochester, MN
- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH
- Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD
- (tie). New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York, NY
- (tie). UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
- UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, CA
- NYU Langone Hospitals, New York, NY
- Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
Healthgrades came up with their list based on an analysis of the performance of nearly 4,00 hospitals nationwide across 32 conditions and procedures, including heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, respiratory failure, sepsis, and stroke.2 The most-cited strategies by organizations that have achieved Healthgrades America’s Best Hospitals distinction include:
- Embracing a true patient-centered mindset and focusing on engaging patients and their families.
- Creating ambitious goals to consistently achieve superior patient outcomes.
- Recognizing that all employees – including doctors, nurses, and support staff – are stakeholders in the quest for continuous quality improvement.
- Having the courage to identify what isn’t working and removing obstacles that prevent quality improvement.2
The hospitals on Healthgrades list are not ranked; rather, they are designated by state. For the 2021 list, hospitals that have been awarded America’s Best Hospitals include Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Hollywood, CA, Rochester General Hospital in Rochester, NY, and Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX.2 The full list of hospitals on the list can be found here.3
“Especially in this era of COVID-19, we commend the recipients of the Healthgrades America’s Best Hospitals Awards for their commitment to providing superior outcomes and keeping their communities safe,” said Brad Bowman, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Healthgrades.2
Newsweek, in partnership with Statista, Inc., released their Best Hospitals list not just for the United States but for countries worldwide including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada.4 The lists are based on 3 data sources:
- Recommendations from medical experts (doctors, hospitals managers, health care professionals)
- Results from patient surveys
- Medical KPIs on hospitals
Unlike the Healthgrades list, the Newsweek list is ranked, with a percentage score given to each hospital out of 100%. The top 10 hospitals on the Best Hospitals 2021–United States are:4
- Mayo Clinic–Rochester, Rochester, MN (98.43%)
- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH (92.36%)
- Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA (89.05%)
- The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD (84.59%)
- Stanford Health Care – Stanford Hospital, Stanford, CA (79.92%)
- Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA (79.78%)
- The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY (79.75%)
- University of Michigan Hospitals – Michigan Medicine, Ann Arbor, MI (79.63%)
- Brigham And Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA (79.34%)
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York, NY (78.81%)
The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN is the only hospital that is included in the U.S. News and World Report ranking as well as the Newsweek and Healgrades’ top 10 lists. The hospital, a teaching hospital and medical and surgical facility, topped the list for a variety of factors, including its Department of Endocrinology which is one of the world’s largest. The hospital also offers an “immersive wellness” experience through its Healthy Living Program, sports medicine facilities that treat athletes and multiple research centers that study Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and kidney disease, among other ailments.5