A trend for specialization has seen an increase in healthcare facilities all over the world. A healthcare facility can be anything from a simple medical clinic to a large multispecialty hospital. A good hospital is one that has specialized staff and equipment, the latest technology, research facilities, conducts clinical trials and strives towards improving patient care.
With the thousands of hospitals out there, deciding where to get treatment is a daunting task. However, hospital popularity among patients goes a long way in determining which hospital is good and what each hospital specializes in.
Consistency being the key; hospitals with consistent great performance are considered to be the best. Hospitals that belong to this cadre not only recruit the most qualified physicians and nursing care, but also strive to provide specialized services to patients.
There are several such health facilities in the United States that provide specialized services to their patients. Here we look at a few top hospitals that have good reviews from the patients as well as from various hospital surveys done. They top the charts of the healthcare providers.
1:- The Johns Hopkins Hospital
A teaching hospital situated in Baltimore, Maryland, The Johns Hopkins Hospital is considered to be one of the best hospitals in the world. It has been topping the charts at No. 1 in the U.S. News and World Report for 18 years consecutively.
This hospital was founded in the year 1889, in the name of Johns Hopkins, who was a banker and merchant in Baltimore. He left several million dollars and asked for this money to be used in the creation of two institutions under his name. Thus came into being, “The Johns Hopkins Hospital” and “The Johns Hopkins University.”
Johns Hopkins Hospital Institutions:
• The Brady Urological Institute
• The Wilmer Eye Institute
• The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center
• The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
The hospital has been ranked high for the following specialties:
• Otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat)
• Neurology and Neurosurgery
The above specialties are ranked high; however, their services extend to several other branches, such as respiratory disorders, digestive disorders, endocrinology, oncology, heart and heart surgery, orthopedics, general pediatrics and kidney diseases. They have a rehabilitation section as well.
Johns Hopkins has several achievements to its credit
• Their discovery of “restriction enzymes” won the Nobel Prize and paved way to genetic engineering industry.
• They have the distinction of discovering the brain’s natural opiates, which led to an understanding of the neurotransmitter pathways and functions.
• This hospital has identified three different types of polio virus.
• Modern heart surgery underwent a dramatic leap with the first “blue baby” operation conducted at this hospital.
• Awarded the prestigious Magnet Recognition status for excellence in nursing by the The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Johns Hopkins performs various kinds of surgeries, and the hospital’s melanoma program includes plastic surgery and reconstruction of complicated sites such as the external ear, nose and eye lid, is being successfully performed over the past two decades.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital has earned the honor of being ranked No.1 in three specialties; Ear, nose and throat, rheumatology and urology; No.2 in geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery, gynecology and obstetrics, psychiatry and ophthalmology; No.3 in cancer, endocrinology, digestive diseases, heart disease and heart surgery and respiratory disorders.
It is no mean feat to obtain high rankings in so many specialties, out of thousands of hospitals in the United States.
2:- M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Compassion along with innovative cancer care, cancer research, research-based prevention of all types of cancers, both rare and common, aimed for both pediatric and adult cancer patients, makes M.D. Anderson Cancer Center one of the best cancer care centers in the world. Ranked as No.1 in cancer care, the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is a system of hospitals and an academic institution in Houston, Texas.
It was established by the National Cancer Act in 1971, as part of three other cancer centers.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center takes its name after Monroe Dunaway Anderson, who was a cotton trader and banker from Jackson, Tennessee. It is interesting to note the reason this cancer center was created. Anderson and Will Clayton were business partners and they decided that if one of them dies, they would have to pay a lot of money towards estate tax. In order to avoid paying this tax, the M.D. Anderson Foundation was created by Dunaway Anderson.
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is totally devoted to the treatment and prevention of cancer. They have the largest research program in the entire United States, with 11,000 patients taking part in their clinical trials at one point of time.
They have several support programs to help patients feel better and get over the emotional obstacles:
• Support groups for survivors, cancer patients and caregivers.
• Travel nurse support and care;
• Individual one-on-one support for patients.
• Educational materials as well as classes for patients and caregivers.
• Online support through forums to help share experiences with other cancer patients.
• M.D. Anderson Chaplains are available at all times to provide spiritual support and guidance.
• Several patient stories to read, that talk of people who have survived cancer.
• The Magnet Nursing recognition awarded by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Patient care at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center is great and international patients are given every possible help to ensure a happy stay at the hospital.
The number of adults and children that take treatment from this cancer center every year is proof of its immense popularity, which is totally based on the invaluable treatment it provides.
3:- Mayo Clinic, Rochester
Rochester based Mayo Clinic is a non-profit and one of the top healthcare facilities in Northern America, founded by Dr. William Worrall Mayo and his two sons, Charles Horace Mayo and William James Mayo. Dr. Worrall Mayo originally belongs to the United Kingdom, but emigrated to the United States in 1846 to become a doctor.
It has several clinics and hospitals in Arizona, Scottsdale, Jacksonville and Florida. The Rochester facility hosts the Mayo Medical School and their research department. It is also in partnership with smaller other clinics in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Mayo Clinic provides treatment in several areas and is forefront in the following specialties, among several others:
• Neurology and Neurosurgery
The Mayo Clinic’s transplantation program is one of the best in the United States and offers the following:
Bone Marrow Transplant: The three types of transplants: allogenic, autologous and syngeneic are performed.
Heart Transplant: Heart, lung and heart-lung transplants, and also the use of ventricular assist devices for adults, children and infants are performed.
Kidney Transplant: This program is one of the most innovative and the largest in the United States, and more than 40 kidney transplants are performed each year. The outcome of the Mayo Clinic kidney transplant is also known to be one of the best in the world. This hospital focuses on living donor transplants and provides both positive crossmatch and ABO incompatible transplants.
Liver Transplant: Mayo Clinic is a leading healthcare center for patients with liver and bile duct tumors. They have performed more than 2000 transplants and with the highest survival rates. The programs include living donor liver transplant and split-liver transplant.
Lung Transplant: Lung transplant is offered at Jacksonville and Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
Pancreas Transplant: More than 300 transplants have taken place at Rochester. They perform solitary pancreas transplants, combined kidney-pancreas transplant and Mayo Clinic has recently obtained FDA approval to perform the unique islet transplant at Rochester.
Ranked as one of the best hospitals in America for the 19th consecutive year by U.S. News and World Report. For the year 2008, it was ranked as the No.1 in the field of Neurology and Neurosurgery.
4:- Ronald Reagen UCLA Medical Center
Located on the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles, the Ronald Reagen UCLA Medical Center is a technologically advanced hospital that ranked among the top hospitals on the West Coast. This center has several research centers that cover all the major specialties, including optometry and dentistry. It is designed in such a way that natural light is maximized to assist healing.
This teaching hospital’s emergency department has been certified as level I trauma center for pediatrics and adults.
The hospital encompasses:
• The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
• Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital
• Mattel Children’s Hospital
Each hospital has a separate entrance that makes it very convenient for the patients.
It has been ranked high for the following specialties:
• Neurology and Neurosurgery
The second floor of the hospital is completely dedicated to interventional procedures. Their surgical suite is the largest that has ever been built as of date. The latest audio-visual communication devices assist surgeons in accessing data locally as well as globally.
The cardiac suite will help adult patients with vascular and coronary artery diseases, with the latest angioplasties and plastic restorative surgical techniques. Children with congenital heart disease can undergo minimally invasive procedures. Therapy is said to be delivered most accurately and with minimum amount of risk with the help of magnetic catheter guidance devices in UCLA.
• Nobel Prize for the discovery of one of the signaling molecules in the body, which is nitric oxide has been won by Louis Ignarro, a pharmacologist at UCLA. This was a very important discovery that revolutionalized the immunology and cardiopulmonary fields.
• Ranked No.1 for Neurology and Neurosurgery and No. 3 in the best hospital category in the western United States consecutively in a row by the U.S. News & World Report.
The Ronald Reagen UCLA Medical Center is known to provide a high level of care to its patients with advanced technology and is considered to be one of the nation’s best hospitals.
5:- Cleveland Clinic
One of the largest private medical centers in the world, Cleveland Clinic is located in Cleveland, Ohio and was founded in 1921 by four physicians from Cleveland. Three of these physicians were surgeons who worked in the army medical unit during World War I.
This is a multispecialty education medical center, which focuses on patient care, research and medical education. Their medical education program is the third largest in the nation.
Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute has the distinction of being the fifth largest research center in the nation and their expenditure towards research is said to be more than $220 million.
• Ranked in the four top hospitals in the United States in the year 2007.
• Ranked No. 1 in the United States for cardiac care, for 13 consecutive years.
• Ranked among the top two, for gastroenterology services and urology. Their Glickman urological Institute has the largest full-time faculty for urology in America.
The Cleveland Clinic has several medical firsts to its credit. Some of them are:
• First coronary bypass surgery
• First coronary angiography
• First minimally invasive aortic valve surgery
• First larynx transplant that was successful
• First mitral valve repaid and also Maze procedure at the same time
Cleveland Clinic is in the process of constructing a state-of-the-art heart center for its heart program. Its expansion and technology advancement program is ongoing, to cater to the ever-growing patients.
6:- Massachusetts General Hospital
Founded in 1811 with the intention to care for the poor, the Massachusetts General Hospital or MGH is a cancer treatment and research healthcare facility in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School.
This hospital is one of the oldest general hospitals in the United States as well as being the oldest and largest in New England. More than 45000 patients are admitted, over 34000 surgeries are performed and over 1 million outpatients are treated each year.
Specialties at MGH
MGH has many specialties, some of them are:
• Neurology & Neurosurgery
• Respiratory Disorders
• Gastrointestinal Disorders
• Geriatric Care
• Heart & Heart Surgery
MGH has more than 20 specialty branches which cater to specialized patient care of both adults and children.
Clinical trials are a continuous process and they test several types of treatments, new vaccines, new drugs and new surgical and radiation approaches, new combinations of treatments etc.
There is a lot going on in new fields of gene therapy, angiogenesis and clinical genetics as well. These trials focus on all types of cancer that the hospital has ever seen. While previously, these clinical trials were used by some cancer patients as a last resort, things are very different today with patients even seeking treatment in the early stages through these trials.
MGH was given the award of being the first Magnet hospital in the state, by the American Nurses Association. This award is the highest for excellence in nursing.
7:- Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston
The largest hospital of Longwood Medical and Academic area in Boston and the second largest teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is an educational hospital.
This research hospital, along with Massachusetts General Hospital, is one of the two founders of Partners HealthCare, which is the largest healthcare provider in Massachusetts.
The hospital’s top specialties among many are:
• Obstetrics & Gynecology
• Renal and several others
Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s centers of excellence include:
• Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center
• Shapiro Cardiovascular Center
• The Neurosciences Institute
• The Orthopedic and Arthritis Center
• The Mary Horrigan Connors Center for Women’s Health
This hospital has several achievements to its credit:
• The first administration of anesthesia during childbirth.
• The first successful heart valve surgery in the world performed on a 12-year-old girl.
• Discovery that liver extracts can cure pernicious anemia, which was a fatal illness at that time. The doctors received a Nobel Prize for this.
• Steroid cortisone administered for the first time to cure rheumatoid arthritis.
• Doctors found a way to collect, store and transfuse blood and developed the world’s first blood bank.
• The first successful human kidney transplant, taken from a twin brother, which won them a Nobel Prize.
• Restoration of normal rhythm of the heart in atrial fibrillation done for the first time using DC cardioversion.
• The world’s first intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system for neurosurgery.
• BWH stands eighth in the ranking brought out by the U.S. News & World Report, for America’s best hospitals. It has the distinction of earning a place on this prestigious list for 16 consecutive years.
• The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) has awarded the recognition of “top performer” for quality as well as accountability, for three years in a row.
• Named by Leapfrog Group as the best hospital.
• Won the National Healthcare Award.
Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s ongoing efforts for patient care are admirable. This hospital is in complete compliance with all standards set by the Joint Commission.
8:- Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami
Recognized all over the world as the best eye institute, the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which serves as the ophthalmology department for the University of Miami is a leader in ophthalmic care, research and ophthalmic education. Their care encompasses every aspect of ophthalmic subspecialty possible, including the very rare eye tumors.
Bascom Palmer was founded in 1962 and has come a long way in offering revolutionary ophthalmic treatments. Each and every physician at the hospital specializes in at least one area of care and more than half of their faculty members have gone into the medical referral book named, “Best Doctors in America.”
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute has been in the forefront of many new happenings in the field of ophthalmology:
• The first successful vitreous surgery as well as invention of a miniature surgical instrument used for this surgery.
• Identification of the herpes virus as the cause of Acute Retinal Necrosis.
• Introduction of limbal cell transplantation therapy which can prevent corneal scarring, that is potentially blinding.
• Development of an effective treatment for retinopathy of prematurity afflicting premature infants, which is a blinding condition.
Bascom Palmer’s research areas include:
• Phyto-dynamic therapy for treating age-related macular degeneration (wet form) is being currently tested.
• Molecular genetics advanced techniques, to help improve the diagnosis of macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.
• Research in finding out more about normal tension glaucoma, where damage of the optic nerve occurs even with the intraocular pressure being normal.
• Trying to understand cytomegalovirus retinitis, the common cause of blindness in patients with AIDS.
• New treatments being researched for retinal detachments, which is the major side effect of diabetes.
• Researching on non-toxic treatment for ocular cancer. This treatment includes local hyperthermia, which has the potential to kill cancer cells without causing any damage to the retina.
• Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is rated as one of the best ophthalmic hospitals in the nation by board-certified ophthalmologists across the United States.
• It has been ranked as the No. 1 eye hospital in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report.
• The Ophthalmology Times’ survey rated Bascom Palmer’s residency program as the best in the nation.
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute continues with its tradition of excellence with the commitment of treasuring the gift of sight. It has earned recognition as an outstanding patient care, research and teaching facility.
9:- Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS)
The Hospital for Special Surgery founded in 1863 by Dr. James Knight, is located in the city of New York and is the oldest orthopedic hospital in the nation. This specialty hospital, which is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, provides orthopedics and rheumatology and is famous for its musculoskeletal medicine services. They have huge research facilities that focus on autoimmune and musculoskeletal diseases.
HSS is considered to be the best in the United States for joint replacement.
This 140-bed hospital has the following specialized centers:
• Osteoporosis Prevention Center
• Women’s Sports Medicine Center
• Institute for Cartilage Repair
• The Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Diseases
Procedures performed at HSS:
The orthopedic surgeons at HSS have subspecialty training and focus on various areas. While the spine surgery surgeons focus on congenital or acute spinal disorders and chronic back pain, the sports medicine surgeons focus on athletic injuries of the musculoskeletal system. They specialize in shoulder, elbow and knee injuries. Limb lengthening procedures are also performed at HSS.
HSS focuses its research on various aspects of diagnosis and treatment. Their clinical trials focus on lupus and arthritis currently. The research at the hospital aims at addressing problems such as injury, arthritis, scoliosis, osteoporosis, lupus and autoimmune diseases, as well as all related musculoskeletal diseases that affect adults and children.
• Ranked No.1 in orthopedics and No.3 for rheumatology nationally by U.S. News & World Report.
• Hospital for Special Surgery been hailed as being innovative in the field of knee replacement. It has pioneered this and has perfected the procedure to help speed up recovery time, thus reducing the hospital stay for patients.
HSS has performed the largest number of knee replacements in the United States and successfully.
10:- National Jewish Health
National Jewish Health is considered to be the best hospitals for the treatment of respiratory, allergic and immune disorders. It is located in Denver, Colorado and has the distinction of being the best medical treatment and research centers in the world.
Founded in 1899 by two people, Frances Wisebart Jacobs and William Sterne Friedman, with the objective of treating tuberculosis, because of lack of TB hospitals in those days. They collected money for land and building and the hospital was completed in 1893 and since a Jewish organization raised the funds annually for its operations, it was named National Jewish Health. Later as it grew, it introduced other specialties.
National Jewish Health treats several disorders, some of their specialties include:
• Eczema (Atomic Dermatitis)
• Autoimmune Diseases
• Interstitial lung disease
• Sleep disorder
• Tuberculosis and several others
National Jewish Health is a leader in clinical research and treatment. There have been several new and improved treatments discovered for respiratory disorders. This hospital has been instrumental in bringing to people, drugs such as Advair, Claritin and Xolair.
• Ranked No.1 respiratory hospital in the nation for eleven consecutive years by the U.S. News & World Report.
• Rated as one of the world’s top ten biomedical research centers.
• The Scientist magazine gave credit to this hospital and named it the second best place in the United States for “postdocs” to work.
National Jewish Health aims to be in the forefront of a new era of medicine. Their priority is patient care and their commitment to perform research and treat diseases will benefit patients the world over.
Healthcare industry has advanced in leaps and bounds over the years. These hospitals that list top on the charts are proof of the effort they put into being in the forefront of this advancement and improving the quality of patient care, by finding new techniques and drugs to treat patients.