Two Charleston facilities place high in 'Best Hospitals' rankings

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) - With 88 hospitals around the state, some question where the best ones are located. According to the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings, some of the best in South Carolina are right here in Charleston.

The national news magazine editors put together their annual list of the top hospitals in the nation and released the results Tuesday.

According to the website, hospitals are ranked in 16 specialties: cancer; cardiology & heart surgery; diabetes & endocrinology; ear, nose & throat; gastroenterology & GI (gastrointestinal) surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology & neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology.

U.S. News' top five hospitals in the Palmetto State:

  • Spartanburg Regional Medical Center
  • AnMed Health in Anderson (tied for 2nd)
  • Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston (tied for 2nd)
  • Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in Charleston
  • McLeod Health in Florence

Last year, MUSC ranked first in South Carolina and for the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville metro area.

According to the site, to be named a 'high-performing hospital' the facility needs to have a score that placed it in the top 25 percent of eligible facilities in at least one specialty, using the same methodology that identifies nationally ranked Best Hospitals.

"We sifted through data for nearly 5,000 hospitals and results from surveys of more than 9,500 physicians to rank the best centers in 16 adult specialties from cancer to urology," the site reads. "Death rates, patient safety and hospital reputation were a few of the many factors we considered. Only 144 hospitals were nationally ranked in a specialty. The Honor Roll features 17 Best Hospitals that scored near the top in at least six specialties."

MUSC is also ranked as high-performing in the categories of:

  • Cancer
  • Ear, nose and throat
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology & neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology

Bon Secours St. Francis is ranked as high-performing in:

  • Diabetes & endocrinology
  • Gastroenterology & GI surgery
  • Nephrology
  • Neurology & neurosurgery
  • Pulmonology

The two hospitals were also the only ones (out of 23 hospitals) with performances ranked high enough to be considered "strong performers" in the Lowcountry Regional Ranking.

Even though MUSC is not nationally ranked, U.S. News ranks their Children's hospital 30th in the nation out of 89 facilities and was ranked in two of 10 specialties in the 2014-15 Best Children's Hospital listings.

Out of a starting number of 4,743 hospitals, only 144 U.S. hospitals performed well enough to be nationally ranked in one or more specialties. To see a complete explanation of how the rankings were determined, click here.

While being ranked is an honor, the list's authors stress that it's just the beginning factor in choosing a hospital and that the highest-ranked hospitals are not always the best choice for care.

"Patients have to do their own research," the site reads. "We also appreciate that families have to consider the stress and expense of traveling to another city, as well as the willingness of an insurer to pay for care at a hospital outside its network."

To see the national rankings, click here.

The list's authors also said that military and veteran's hospitals are not included in the rankings because they "have been unsuccessful in persuading the federal government to release the necessary data."

Since 1990, U.S. News and World Report has been publishing the list to help patients who need a high level of care because they face a difficult surgery, challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age. The Best Hospitals rankings are updated every July.


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