Straight Talk

May 28, 2015

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

NCH Healthcare is batting “5 for 5" when it comes to the U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” rankings. This year, for the fifth consecutive time, NCH was ranked “best in region,” and we ranked 17th among all of Florida’s 300+ hospitals, up from last year’s ranking of 22nd.

This also marks the first year that U.S. News ranked hospitals in “common care.” NCH was rated “high performing” in four of five conditions or procedures. Approximately 10% of the hospitals rated in each condition or procedure were “high performing,” meaning their quality measures were statistically better than the national average. In Florida, NCH was one of only five “high performing” systems for heart bypass, one of 20 for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, one of 15 for congestive heart failure, and one of 18 for total knee replacement.

This was the broadest expansion of the magazine’s analysis of hospital quality since it began ranking medical centers 25 years ago. The new “Best Hospitals for Common Care” ratings cover nearly every hospital in the country and evaluate common surgical procedures and medical conditions that account for millions of hospitalizations a year.

U.S. News developed the new ratings to help patients easily identify hospitals in their communities that excel in treating common conditions. Patients can look up any U.S. hospital at no cost ( to see how it rates in three common operations—heart bypass, hip replacement and knee replacement; and in two widespread chronic conditions—congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD. A hospital may be rated as “high performing,” “average” or “below average.”

The one category NCH was rated as “average” was hip replacement, due to high readmissions. When we drilled down we found that the data for this metric was from 2010-2012. Today we benchmark favorably with readmission and are in the top decile.

“The choice of hospital can be life-changing even for relatively routine surgery. Hospitals can differ greatly in quality, and excelling in one area doesn’t guarantee that a hospital excels in other areas,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis for U.S. News. “The good news for patients is that the majority of hospitals performed average or better.”

The “good news” for NCH patients is that quality has made a real difference here for the last decade. This is what the U.S. News & World Report data corroborate.

As we continue to be recognized nationally for clinical and service excellence, we are helping everyone in this wonderful community live longer, happier, and healthier lives.


Allen Weiss, M.D. Signature

Allen S. Weiss, M.D., President and CEO

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