UW Hospitals and Clinics ranked No. 17 and in top 2 percent nationally for seven Department of Medicine specialties, according to 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings

Aerial photo of UW-Madison west campus, including UW Hospitals and Clinics

For the first time in the history of U.S. News & World Report's "Best Hospitals" rankings, University of Wisconsin Hospitals are listed on the Honor Roll as one of the 20 most highly ranked hospitals in the nation.

That designation, which includes both University Hospital and UW Health at The American Center, puts the hospitals at no. 17 among the more than 4,500 analyzed. UW Hospitals and Clinics also retains its No. 1 ranking in the state of Wisconsin.

Seven University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Medicine specialties were among the highly-ranked specialties:

A top-50 ranking means the ranked hospital is in the top two percent of U.S. hospitals.

Notably, in this year’s edition, University of Wisconsin Hospitals were ranked in the top 50 for diabetes and endocrinology, a jump from the 2018-19 edition, in which it was ranked as high performing (defined as in the top 25 percent within a given specialty).

In addition, between last year’s and this year’s editions, geriatrics rose from #27 to #21, cardiology and heart surgery rose from #48 to #25 and gastroenterology and GI surgery rose from #42 to #26.

Additional top-50 specialties of University of Wisconsin Hospitals include Gynecology (#12); Urology (#14); Orthopedics (#19); Neurology and Neurosurgery (#47); and Ear, Nose and Throat (#49).

Finally, University of Wisconsin Hospitals were ranked as high performing in nine adult procedures or conditions: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, colon cancer surgery, heart bypass surgery, treatment of heart failure, hip replacement, knee replacement and lung cancer surgery.

“Our department’s continued outstanding representation in the U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals rankings exemplifies our dedication to clinical excellence,” said Elizabeth (Betsy) Trowbridge, MD, FACP, Phillip August and Sarah Neely Herrmann Professor, Interim Chair, Department of Medicine, and Division Chief, General Internal Medicine. “I’m grateful to all of our faculty and staff—and our colleagues throughout this remarkable institution—for working together to provide the very best care for our patients.”

"This represents a huge leap forward in the rankings for UW Health," said UW Health CEO Dr. Alan Kaplan. "The goal for us must always be the continual improvement of patient care, but it is very gratifying to be ranked among the nation's top 20 hospitals. I'm proud of the level of excellence our physicians and staff bring to work every day."

More than 4,500 hospitals were surveyed. Only 165 ranked in at least one specialty. Measurements include the use of advanced technologies, patient volume, nursing intensity and a high-level trauma center. UW Hospital is a Level I trauma center for both adults and children.

Four specialties were ranked by reputation alone.

UW Hospitals and Clinics (505 beds) and UW Health at The American Center (56 beds) are part of the UW Health system, which also includes American Family Children's Hospital; the UW Medical Foundation (physicians' group); the Carbone Cancer Center and six regional cancer centers; SwedishAmerican in Rockford and Belvidere, Illinois; the UW Health Rehabilitation Hospital, and an affiliation with UnityPoint Health-Meriter.

UnityPoint Health-Meriter was tied for no. 7 in Wisconsin and no. 2 in Madison. UnityPoint Health-Meriter was rated high performing in three adult specialties (geriatrics, orthopedics and pulmonology and lung surgery) and three adult procedures/conditions (heart failure, knee replacement and hip replacement).