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Badges of Honor – What Do They Mean?

Every July, hospitals await the release of U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Hospital Rankings [1].

And while hospitals that make the prestigious list cheer this accomplishment, the real winners are those in the public who want to know where they and their loved ones should go for the best medical care.

Today, with the release of the rankings, people living in South Florida once again know great hospitals are in their backyard.

That’s because for the fourth year in a row, Baptist Health hospitals earned top rankings in South Florida and are among the top 25 in Florida – earning a total of 24 silver badges, indicating high quality performance in the 12 specialties measured by U.S. News. These specialties include cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, urology and Ear, Nose & Throat.

Baptist Hospital [2] again ranks #2 for the Miami-Fort Lauderdale regional rankings.  South Miami Hospital [3]placed #4, followed by Doctors Hospital [4] at #6 and Homestead Hospital [5] at #11.  Mariners Hospital [6] is too small and West Kendall Baptist Hospital [7] is too new to be considered for the rankings.

Patient survival rates, nurse staffing levels and how many doctors would refer their most complicated cases to the hospitals all factor into the rankings.  U.S. News & World Report looks at these measurements from nearly 5,000 hospitals across the United States. Those 5,000 hospitals are divided into several hundred regions to identify the top hospitals in those regions.

“Our doctors, nurses and staff are committed to providing quality care to our patients,” said Thinh Tran, M.D., Baptist Health’s Chief Medical and Quality Officer. “This means we follow practices that have been tried and have proved safe and successful. This annual survey validates that those standards we strive hard to achieve have been met and exceeded.”

Knowing which hospitals meet the criteria to be included in this highly publicized list makes each of us more educated about where we should consider seeking medical attention if we need it – making these badges of honor important to us as well.