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Seven Department of Medicine Specialties Represented in 2018 U.S. News Rankings

Seven medical specialties in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Medicine were highly ranked or noted for clinical excellence in the 2017-18 edition of the Best Hospitals guide produced by U.S. News & World Report. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics is ranked among the nation’s top 50 hospitals, retaining its position as the best hospital in Wisconsin for the sixth year in a row.
The rankings of specialties involve more than 4,500 medical centers around the country. Only 152 hospitals in the nation were ranked in at least one medical specialty. UW Hospital and Clinics is nationally ranked in nine specialties, with two additional specialties 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:

Additional ranked specialties of UW Hospital and Clinics include Gynecology (#13), Neurology and Neurosurgery (#43), Orthopedics (#45), and Urology (#16).

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. In 2016-17, the outlet made significant changes to ranking methodology, including dropping the weight of the patient safety index from 10 percent to 5 percent and changing the data source for patient safety scores from one dataset (MedPAR) to another (CMS SAF). 

Methodology changes for 2017-18 included use of five years of Medicare data (from three years), refining measures of patient volume, emphasizing objective data on procedures and conditions, and updating measurements in an effort to avoid penalizing safety-net hospitals. 

“The fact that seven divisions in the Department of Medicine are represented confirms our members' dedication to clinical excellence,” said Richard Page, MD, George R. and Elaine Love Professor and chair, Department of Medicine. “We share this recognition with all of our health care colleagues throughout our remarkable and collaborative organization.”

"As we embark on a new strategic plan that will move us to even higher levels of performance, we are deeply honored to once again perform extremely well in the U.S. News rankings," said UW Health CEO Alan Kaplan, MD. "At the same time, no single measurement perfectly captures the quality of a hospital and the experience of its patients, so we pay attention to many other measures as well."

UW Hospital and Clinics, with 505 beds, is part of the UW Health system, which also includes American Family Children's Hospital; the UW Medical Foundation (physicians' group); the Carbone Cancer Center; the UW School of Medicine and Public Health; SwedishAmerican in Rockford, Illinois; the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital; UW Health at The American Center; and UnityPoint Health-Meriter, which recently concluded a joint operating agreement with UW Health. The hospital is a major employer in Dane County and a Level One trauma center for adults and children.


— by Robyn M. Perrin, PhD, August 10, 2017