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Ochsner Medical Center, Only Louisiana Hospital Listed in 'America's Best' by U.S. News

NEW ORLEANS, July 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Ochsner Medical Center is the only Louisiana hospital to be ranked as one of the 50 "Best Hospitals in America" in Heart & Heart Surgery, Urology, and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) in U.S. News & World Report's 2009-10 publication.

"This is an honor for Ochsner; the physicians and medical staff who strive to provide the best medical care," says Warner Thomas, President and Chief Operating Officer for Ochsner Health System. "Furthermore, it is promising news for Louisiana residents as the state struggles to come to terms with healthcare reform. Knowing that nationally-recognized care is close to home, Louisiana residents don't need to leave the state in order to meet their medical needs."

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

Despite a recent damaging report on Louisiana's cardiac care,* Dr. Chris White, Ochsner Chairman, Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, says, "This report affirms that the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute is one of the nation's 'best in class' for heart and vascular therapy. U.S. News' ranking reflects the top one-percent of all hospitals nationally; it's commercially unbiased and is a comprehensive representation of hospitals with quality care and physician staff, academic prominence, and cutting-edge technology."

Now in its 20th year, the "America's Best Hospitals" guide is the most extensive hospital ranking to-date, evaluating 16 specialties: cancer; diabetes & endocrine disorders; digestive disorders; ENT; geriatric care; gynecology; heart and heart surgery; kidney disorders; neurology and neurosurgery; ophthalmology; orthopedics; psychiatry; rehabilitation; respiratory disorders; rheumatology; and urology. Rankings are predominantly driven by hard data: reputation, death rate, patient safety, and care-related factors such as nursing and patient services.

Urology (ranked 40th): In 2005, Ochsner's Urology Department implemented the evolutionary robotics system, daVinci, improving patient recovery times with less pain. "In four short years, Ochsner has grown into an international leader in robotics surgery, specifically robotic prostectomies and partial nephrectomies, with an extremely low complication rate," says Dr. Richard Vanlangendonck, Jr., Ochsner Director of Laparoscopy and Minimally Invasive Urology.

ENT (ranked 45th): "Ochsner's ENT recognition is attributed to our large patient volume which represents a strong mix of both common ENT diseases and complex cases, such as cochlear implants and head and neck cancers," explains Dr. Ronald Amedee, Ochsner Chairman, Department of Otolaryngology. "The ENT team at Ochsner is privileged to provide quality patient care in an extremely safe hospital environment as evidenced by our low morbidity and mortality rates."

Heart & Heart Surgery (ranked 48th): Having a leading hospital in cardiovascular care in an unbiased, nationally recognized survey is significant for Gulf South residents. "One of America's most prominent health concerns is heart disease. Our superior patient outcomes are a direct result of the collaboration between our superb cardiology and cardiothoracic surgical groups," explains Dr. Gene Parrino, Ochsner Section Head of Thoracic, Cardiovascular and Cardiothoracic Surgery.

* 2009, The American Heart Association Journal, Circulation, ranked Louisiana hospitals among the lowest in the country, with deaths in about 25 percent of patients admitted for heart attack or failure.

SOURCE Ochsner Medical Center
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