By Daniel Larios
July 17, 2014 -- The UCLA Health System's hospitals in Santa Monica and Westwood have been ranked as one of the nation’s best hospitals by U.S. News and World Report, according to the magazine’s rankings released Tuesday.
UCLA Medical Center, including the hospital on 16th Street in Santa Monica, was ranked fifth in the nation and first in both California and the Los Angeles area in the magazine’s “Best Hospitals 2014–15 Honor Roll.”
The annual rankings, which are now in their 25th year, recognize hospitals that excel at treating patients who need an especially high level of care.
"We are grateful and honored to again be recognized for the outstanding work of our physicians and staff on behalf of the patients who seek care at UCLA," said Dr. David Feinberg, president and CEO of the UCLA Health System.
"Our goal is to treat each patient who comes through our doors as if he or she were a member of our own family, with dignity and respect, in a compassionate and safe environment that delivers the highest-quality medical care available."
In order to qualify for the ranking, a medical center must place in the top percentage in at least six of sixteen specialties that are ranked by the magazine. In the case of UCLA, the hospital system ranked high in 15 of the 16 specialties
The Medical Center ranked ninth nationally for cancer treatment, 12th in cardiology and heart surgery, ninth in diabetic treatment, 11th in Otolaryngology (ears, nose and throat), fifth in gastrointestinal treatment, third in geriatrics and 11th in gynecology.
The center also ranked eighth in nephrology, seventh in neuroscience, fifth in opthamalogy, 11th in orthapaedics, eighth in psychiatry, 16th in pulmonology, eighth in rheumatology and fourth in urology.
"The data tell the story — an Honor Roll hospital has much to be proud of," said Avery Comarow, the health rankings editor at U.S. News. "Just 144 hospitals, or about 3 percent of the nearly 5,000 we evaluated, earned national ranking in even one specialty, let alone put up top scores in six specialties."
U.S. News publishes Best Hospitals to “help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face a particularly difficult surgery, a challenging condition or extra risk because of age or multiple health problems.”
The rankings were largely determined by a number of factors, including patient survival, safety data, and the adequacy of nurse staffing levels.
"This honor confirms, once again, that the UCLA Health System is one of the premier health care providers in the nation," said Dr. A. Eugene Washington, vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
"We not only provide the most sophisticated state-of-the-art care but also rank among the very best academic medical centers in the nation on patient satisfaction scores. I commend and congratulate each member of our team for putting patients first and helping us earn this distinction."
The rankings were produced for U.S. News by North Carolina-based RTI International, a research organization. Using the same data provided by RTI, U.S. News produced the state and metropolitan rankings.
The rankings are available online now and will appear in print in the "U.S. News Best Hospitals 2015" guidebook in August.