What makes a great hospital? Health experts say it's an internal culture that supports good clinical outcomes. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently began making information about hospital mortality rates, readmissions and patient satisfaction available on the Internet. U.S. hospitals that get high marks on these things are hospitals where doctors, nurses, management and other health care workers are united behind a cohesive institutional mission that focuses on providing first rate to patients.
The United States is widely renowned as having the best health care facilities in the world, but that doesn't mean that the best hospitals are always found in the United States. Here is a look at the five most respected hospitals in the world, and the reason why health care professionals and patients both hold these institutions in such high regard.
Johns Hopkins Hospital
For the 20 plus years that the American magazine U.S. News and World Report has been ranking American hospitals, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland has appeared on top of their list. The 913-bed general medical/surgical and research facility earns top marks in psychiatry, neurology and neurosurgery, and ranks among the top five hospitals in cancer, diabetes, cardiology and orthopedic treatments. Eighty-two percent of the patients treated there say they would definitely recommend the hospital to friends and family, compared with a national hospital satisfaction rate of 70 percent.
Over 120 years, Johns Hopkins Hospital has been responsible for many major medical achievements including the isolation and cultivation of human embryonic stem cells, the discovery of genetic links for diseases like colon cancer, and the discovery of endorphin-binding sites within the human brain.
Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital
With close to 3,000 patient beds and grounds that cover 173 acres, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa is the largest medical facility in the world outside of China. The hospital sees close to 700,000 patients a year, more than half of whom are HIV positive.
Stanford University Medical Center
The Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California is world famous for pioneering innovative medical treatments, such as the first heart-lung transplant in 1981, the first stent-graft repair of a thoracic aortic aneurysm, and the use of thrombolysis for deep venous thrombosis. Stanford's hospitals and clinics are widely recognized as one of the world's leading facilities for cutting edge medical advances, benefitting from their close proximity to and association with Sanford University's top-ranked programs in engineering, computer science and biology.
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Great Ormond Street Hospital may be best known as the institution that that was awarded the copyright to one of the most beloved characters in children's fiction, Peter Pan. In 1929, the playwright J. M. Barrie awarded the rights to the boy who never grew up to Great Ormond Street Hospital on the grounds that the institution never reveal the amount of the royalties it earned.
The bequest is entirely appropriate given that Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, UK is the oldest children's hospital in the world. When the institution opened its doors in 1852, it became the first hospital to provide in-patient care specifically for a pediatric population. Most experts also rank the institution as one of the world's finest pediatric hospitals. It's the largest research center into childhood diseases outside the U.S. and Canada, and has recently made news for pioneering treatments of inherited immune diseases with combination gene therapies.
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
For seven out of the past nine years, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas has topped U.S News and World Report's list of cancer treatment centers. The hospital invests close to $550 million each year in innovative cancer research.
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