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Published: Jul 16, 2009

By Tampa General Hospital


Tampa (July 16, 2009) - Tampa General Hospital ranks among the nation’s Top 50 hospitals in seven medical specialties in U.S. News’ 2009-2010 publication of America’s Best Hospitals.

The seven medical specialties include: Diabetes and endocrine disorders, geriatric care, gynecology, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, orthopedics, and urology.

It is the first time the hospital earned Top 50 recognition for geriatric care. Diabetes was added to endocrinology for the first time – TGH received recognition for endocrinology in 2008. The other specialties were listed in the 2008 rankings and orthopedics made the list for the fifth consecutive year.

The guide, accessible online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals and at newsstands July 21, includes rankings of 174 medical centers nationwide in 16 specialties. U.S. News evaluated a total of 4,861 hospitals across the country and fewer than one-third qualified for rankings.

The 16 ranked specialties are cancer; diabetes & endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ear, nose, and throat; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology.

Ron Hytoff, president and CEO of Tampa General, said the recognition reflects the solid partnerships with the University of South Florida College of Medicine and community medical providers working in concert with hospital staff.

“Great things happen when medical care is provided through a team effort,” he said.

"When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for someone close to you," said Avery Comarow, health rankings editor. "These are hospitals that are used to getting the sickest patients."

The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties--all but ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology--are predominantly driven by hard data. There are four components: reputation, death rate, patient safety (new this year), and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services. In these 12 specialties, hospitals have to pass through several gates to be ranked and considered a Best Hospital:

  1. The first gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked at all by requiring that it must meet any of three conditions: be a teaching hospital; have at least 200 beds; or have at least 100 beds plus at least four out of eight key medical technologies such as current-generation CT scanners and precision radiation therapy.
  2. The second gate determines whether a hospital is eligible to be ranked in a particular specialty. To be eligible, the hospital had to either have at least a specified volume of certain procedures and conditions over three years, or had to have been nominated by at least one physician in the last three years of the annual specialist survey.
  3. The third gate is whether a hospital does well enough to be ranked, based on its reputation, death rate, patient safety, and factors like nurse staffing and technology.

In the four other specialties--ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology--ranking is based solely on nominations from the three most recent physician surveys.