U.S. News Ranks UAMS Medical Center Top Hospital in Metro Area

UAMS Medical Center was ranked as the top hospital
 in the Little Rock metro area in the
 U.S. News & World Report 2011-12 hospital rankings.

July 20, 2011 | The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has been ranked as having the top hospital out of 23 hospitals in the Little Rock metropolitan area in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2011-12 Best Hospital rankings.

In addition to the ranking, UAMS Medical Center was recognized as “high performing” in four specialties: cancer, obstetrics/gynecology, ear/nose/throat (ENT) and nephrology (kidney). The rankings, annually published by U.S. News for the past 22 years, are to be featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals guidebook, which goes on sale Aug. 30 and is available online at usnews.com/besthospitals.

The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area. The publication includes Little Rock, North Little Rock and Conway in the Little Rock metropolitan area.

“This recognition represents a lot of hard work by all of our physicians and staff to provide our patients with the kind of world-class care they need,” said Richard Pierson, UAMS vice chancellor for clinical programs and executive director of UAMS Medical Center. "We are pleased to have been recognized on the best hospital list for central Arkansas and challenged to continue delivering on our mission of improving health in the entire state of Arkansas."

In addition to a staff that includes many physicians nationally and internationally known in their specialties, UAMS Medical Center opened a major hospital expansion in 2009 that incorporated the latest in medical technology. In 2010, the hospital became the first in the state to achieve Level 1 designation by the state Department of Health for providing the highest level of trauma care as part of the new statewide trauma system.

The core mission of Best Hospitals is to help guide patients who need an especially high level of care because of a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age.

“These are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high.”

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings are available online at health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area.

“These are hospitals we call ‘high performers.’ They are fully capable of giving most patients first-rate care, even if they have serious conditions or need demanding procedures,” Comarow said. “Almost every major metro area has at least one of these hospitals.”

Hard numbers stand behind the rankings in most specialties — death rates, patient safety, procedure volume and other objective data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.

The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.

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