Perspective from Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA
July 15, 2014
2 min read

U.S. News & World Report: Bascom Palmer best in ophthalmology

Perspective from Carmen A. Puliafito, MD, MBA
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For the eleventh consecutive year, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been ranked the nation’s best in ophthalmology by U.S. News & World Report.

“We are honored to be recognized for this important effort and to be highlighted as the leader in the life-changing and dynamic field of ophthalmology,” Eduardo C. Alfonso, MD, professor and chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, said in an institutional press release. “The well-being of our patients inspires us to continually reach higher and excel in areas of clinical care, vision research and surgical innovation.”

Eduardo C. Alfonso

U.S. News & World Report published its first report on hospitals in 1990. Since that time, the report has grown to include 16 specialties: cancer; neurology and neurosurgery; cardiology and heart surgery; ophthalmology; diabetes and endocrinology; orthopedics; ear, nose and throat; pulmonology; gastroenterology and GI surgery; psychiatry; geriatrics; rehabilitation; gynecology; rheumatology; nephrology; and urology.

The list of specialties has changed over the years. HIV/AIDS was removed from the list in 1998 once its treatment had moved primarily to outpatient settings. In 2007, pediatrics was separated from the list and a separate report on pediatric hospitals was developed.

The data for the report are mostly derived from information provided by the American Hospital Association using a metric U.S. News & World Report calls an “index of hospital quality,” based on structure, process, outcomes and patient safety. Structural measures include the amount and types of technology provided, the availability of nursing staff and other patient services. The process of care measures the ways care is delivered, from diagnosis to treatment, prevention and patient education. Outcomes are based on risk-adjusted overall survival. Because mortality is a key factor in the complex weighting system employed by U.S. News & World Report, ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology are judged using a reputation metric.

To be eligible for inclusion in the report, a hospital must be a member in the council of teaching hospitals, be affiliated with a medical school, or have at least 200 beds and associated staff or at least 100 beds and at least four “key technologies” such as advanced imaging devices, a cardiac ICU and robotic surgery. Other criteria include statistics related to volume and discharge.

A dashboard is available for hospitals to communicate directly with U.S. News & World Report and provide information, download report methodology and read related articles.

In ophthalmology, the top 10 hospitals in the report included:

  1. Bascom Palmer Eye Institute — Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital, Miami
  2. Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia
  3. Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  4. Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  5. Stein and Doheny Eye Institutes, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  6. Duke University Hospital, Durham, NC
  7. Cleveland Clinic
  8. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City
  9. USC Eye Institute-Keck Medical Center of USC, Los Angeles
  10. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, NY

Because mortality is irrelevant for ophthalmology, the rankings for this specialty are calculated differently than the scores of other specialties. Therefore, the report ranked the hospitals by reputation.

Note: Data reprinted with permission from U.S. News & World Report.