Seven Department of Medicine specialties represented in 2018-19 U.S. News rankings

UW hospital complex

Seven medical specialties in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Medicine were highly ranked or noted for clinical excellence in the 2018-19 edition of the Best Hospitals guide produced by U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, University Hospital is ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals, retaining its position as the best hospital in Wisconsin for the seventh year in a row.

The rankings involve 4,656 medical centers around the country. Only 158 hospitals in the nation were ranked in at least one medical specialty. UW Hospital and Clinics is nationally ranked in 10 adult specialties and six children’s specialties, with one additional specialty listed as "high performing" (in the top 25 percent within a given specialty).

Divisions of the Department of Medicine represented among the nationally ranked specialties are:

Notably, this year’s ranking marks the first time that UW has broken into the top 50 for cardiology and heart surgery in at least the past 10 years. “I want to thank all members of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and our colleagues in the Department of Surgery for the outstanding work. We should all be very proud of this great achievement. I am honored to be part of this division and institution," said Mohamed Hamdan, MD, MBA, professor and head, Cardiovascular Medicine and Mildred and Marv Conney Chair in Cardiology.

Additional ranked adult specialties of UW Hospital and Clinics include Gynecology (#10), Neurology and Neurosurgery (#49), Orthopedics (#45), and Urology (#21). UW also achieved the highest rating possible in 8 adult procedures or conditions: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), colon cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery, treatment of heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement, and lung cancer surgery.

Most of the data underlying the rankings came from objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators. Measurements include the use of advanced technologies, patient volume, nursing intensity, and whether an institution is a high-level trauma center. University Hospital and adjacent American Family Children's Hospital together are a Level I trauma center for adults and children.

The most significant methodology change for 2018-19 was that patients who had been transferred from one hospital to another were excluded from the calculation of risk-adjusted survival. According to U.S. News and World Report, in prior years, such patients had been excluded in most circumstances, but were included as an adjustment made to the survival score of hospitals that received particularly high proportions of transfer cases. For methodology details, click here.

“Continued representation of specialties in the Department of Medicine in the rankings, which signifies being ranked within the top one percent of a specialty nationwide, confirms our members' dedication to clinical excellence,” said Richard Page, MD, George R. and Elaine Love Professor and chair, Department of Medicine. “We are grateful to all of our health care colleagues throughout our remarkable and collaborative organization as we continue to focus on advancing the health of the people of Wisconsin and beyond.”

University Hospital, a 505-bed regional referral center and home to the Carbone Cancer Center, partners with the UW School of Medicine and Public Health and is a component of the UW Health system, which also includes American Family Children's Hospital; UW Health at The American Center; UnityPoint-Health Meriter; the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital; SwedishAmerican in Rockford, Illinois; six regional cancer centers; regional clinics in approximately 65 locations; the UW Medical Foundation (physicians' group); and many joint ventures and affiliations. The hospital is a major employer in Dane County.