For the fifth straight year, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is the leading hospital in the nation for cancer care, according to the "Best Hospitals" survey published annually by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
HOUSTON -- For the fifth straight year, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is the leading hospital in the nation for cancer care, according to the "Best Hospitals" survey published annually by U.S. News & World Report magazine.
With this top ranking, MD Anderson has been rated number one eight times in the past decade. Since the survey began 22 years ago, the institution has been named one of the top two hospitals for cancer in the United States.
MD Anderson's gynecology service jumped to the number six position in its subspecialty ranking this year, up five slots from last year. Other subspecialties earning national rankings were ear, nose and throat (#6); urology (#10); gastroenterology (#22); diabetes and endocrinology (#28). In a separate survey of pediatric hospitals, released in May, MD Anderson's Children's Cancer Hospital was ranked number 15 nationally.
MD Anderson also ranked number three among Houston metropolitan area hospitals in the survey. The magazine's metro rankings, which debuted last year, were ordered by a hospital's number of nationally ranked specialties and then by the number of other specialties in which it was among the top 25 percent nationally.
"This top national ranking acknowledges the signature care that our 18,000 employees deliver - and advance - every day," said Thomas W. Burke, M.D., executive vice president and physician-in-chief. "We're honored to have our innovative patient care, nursing, clinical trials, research, supportive care and outreach programs recognized among so many great cancer centers in the nation, and our faculty, staff and volunteers share this accolade with our patients who inspire us all every day."
The annual "Best Hospitals" rankings are based on a complex mix of criteria that includes key technologies, nurse-to-patient staffing ratios and the availability of patient services such as genetic testing/counseling, translation services, wound management, palliative care and others. The methodology also weighs reputation with board-certified physicians from around the nation, disease outcomes and patient safety.
One of the components that contributes to MD Anderson's top national ranking is Magnet designation, an international measure of nursing excellence. Last year, MD Anderson earned its third consecutive Magnet designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Less than seven percent of U.S. hospitals are Magnet-recognized, according to the American Hospital Association, and only about 375 hospitals worldwide carry Magnet designation. MD Anderson earned its first Magnet designation in 2001, and is one of the original 50 charter hospitals bearing the seal.
Last November, MD Anderson was accredited by The Joint Commission, an independent not-for-profit organization that certifies health care organizations' patient care programs against rigorous performance standards. MD Anderson has been consistently accredited by The Joint Commission since 1951.
MD Anderson's opened its inpatient hospital expansion in January, complementing the quality care that 105,000 patients received the past year, and preparing the institution for increased demand for services.
An eight-story expansion of the Albert B. and Margaret M. Alkek Hospital opened in January with three new inpatient floors. The new units have cut-through corridors and individual work stations outside patient rooms so nurses can have better, faster access to patients. They also feature work areas where interdisciplinary teams can review and discuss patients' care plans. Patient rooms are spacious with a large picture window, private bathroom, cozy sitting area and pull-out bed for family members and visitors. The new rooms each have two large flat-screen televisions, a computer work desk and Internet service. The five remaining floors of the new tower will be built out for future patient care needs.
To provide additional, convenient services in the greater Houston area, MD Anderson has expanded into four regional care centers in The Woodlands, Bay Area (Nassau Bay), Sugar Land and Katy. Each center offers radiation and medical oncology care, outpatient chemotherapy, clinical trials and support services such as pain management, nutrition and social work; three of the four centers offer surgical services. The regional care centers are growing rapidly with plans to add even more specialized clinical programs and services in the coming year.
This year, MD Anderson celebrates the 70th anniversary of its creation as a part of The University of Texas System. Since opening its doors to patients in 1944, more than 800,000 patients have turned to MD Anderson for care. Last year, nearly 10,000 registrants enrolled in MD Anderson clinical trials, which spur new discoveries for cancer patients across the globe.