U.Va. Health System Specialties Honored by U.S. News and World Report

July 19, 2007 -- Seven medical specialties at the University of Virginia Health System are listed in the 18th annual survey of "America's Best Hospitals" from U.S. News & World Report. The rankings appear in the magazine's July 16 issue and can be found online at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/home.htm.

UVa specialties ranked in this year's guide from U.S News are: endocrinology (8); gynecology (22); cancer (27); neurology/neurosurgery (29); respiratory diseases (39); digestive disorders (47) and urology (49). UVa's endocrinology (hormonal disorders) program has consistently ranked as one of the nation's top programs by U.S. News since the 1990s, while UVa's neurology/neurosurgery, respiratory, digestive and urology programs return to the list this year.

"We are very pleased to once again be named as one of America's best hospitals and this year to be recognized in even more specialties. This recognition reflects the service offerings and excellent care provided to our patients," said R. Edward Howell, vice president and chief executive officer of the UVa Medical Center. "While those centers have achieved excellence in their own right, across-the-board efforts in areas such as patient and community services and the addition of new technologies to serve patients at UVa also deserve praise," said Howell.

For instance, in the past year, UVa attained Nursing Magnet status - a key indicator of excellent patient care.  "We are confident our efforts in all areas will continue to be recognized in the years to come," said Howell.        

According to U.S. News, out of 5,462 hospitals studied, only 3 percent, 173 in all, are ranked in one or more of the 16 specialties in this year's "America's Best Hospitals."   Ranked hospitals tend to offer more advanced treatments, use new research in patient care and conduct more research that gives critically ill patients better options in their treatment. 

Most ranked institutions are referral centers, says the U.S. News website, where the sickest patients are sent for advanced care. Such hospitals follow, and pioneer, new treatment guidelines. They also conduct bench-to-bedside research and exploit the latest advances in imaging, surgical devices, and other technologies.