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Northwestern Memorial Among America's Best Hospitals in 11 Clinical Specialties According to U.S. News' 2009 Rankings

The hospital is the highest-rated Illinois hospital in six clinical areas

CHICAGO, July 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Northwestern Memorial Hospital is rated in 11 clinical specialties -- six of which make it the highest ranked in Illinois -- as part of U.S. News & World Report's 2009 America's Best Hospitals issue. This year, editorial staff for the authoritative and influential guide evaluated 4,861 medical centers nationwide and 174 were chosen and ranked according to the Top 50 programs in 16 clinical areas.

The 16 specialties include cancer; diabetes and endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ear, nose, and throat; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopaedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology. Northwestern Memorial is rated in the following 11 specialties: cancer (31), diabetes and endocrine disorders (28), geriatric care (19), gynecology (18), heart and heart surgery (22), kidney disorders (39), neurology and neurosurgery (11), orthopaedics (22), respiratory disorders (32), rheumatology (12) and urology (22). Rankings in the areas of geriatrics, gynecology, heart, neurosciences, rheumatology, and urology are the highest achieved by an Illinois hospital as rated by the U.S. News guide.

In 12 of the 16 specialties, the rankings weigh three elements equally: reputation, death rate, and a set of 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 any of three conditions be met -- to be a teaching hospital, to be affiliated with a teaching hospital, or to have at least six important medical technologies from a defined list of 13.

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 in certain procedures and conditions over three years, or had to have been nominated in our yearly specialist survey.

3. The third gate is whether a hospital does well enough to be ranked, based on its reputation, death rate, and factors like nurse staffing and technology.

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

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Along with its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry, the hospital comprises 873 beds, 1,603 affiliated physicians and 7,144 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing exemplary patient care and state-of-the art advancements in the areas of cardiovascular care; women's health; oncology; neurology and neurosurgery; solid organ and soft tissue transplants and orthopaedics.

Northwestern Memorial possesses nursing Magnet Status, the nation's highest recognition for patient care and nursing excellence, and it is listed in 11 clinical specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2009 "America's Best Hospitals" guide. For nine years running, it has been rated among the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" guide by Working Mother magazine. The hospital is a recipient of the prestigious National Quality Health Care Award and has been chosen by Chicagoans as their "most preferred hospital" according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey for 10 years.

SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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