University Health System Ranks in U.S. News 2010-11 Best Hospitals

July 15, 2010

Named in Top 50 for treating kidney disorders

Only Top 50 in San Antonio; One of just 8 in Texas

University Health System ranks in the Top 50 in the nation for the care of patients with kidney disorders, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2010-11 Best Hospitals report released today. It is the only San Antonio hospital to be ranked in any of the 16 medical/surgical specialties evaluated by U.S. News Media Group and one of just eight Texas hospitals or medical centers to receive this prestigious recognition.

In fact, of the nation’s 4,852 hospitals considered for this year’s U.S. News & World Report’s 2010-11 Best Hospitals, only 152 performed well enough to rank in any specialty. U.S. News & World Report's 2010-11 Best Hospitals is available online at and will be featured in the August print issue of U.S.News, available on newsstands July 27.

“This recognition demonstrates University Health System’s commitment to excellence in quality care, and leadership in the development and implementation of new technologies and treatment options,” said University Health System President/CEO George B. Hernández. Jr. “Our patients come first in everything we do, so I am most proud to say that our patient outcomes, that were ‘much better than expected,’ was one key measure considered for Top 50 recognition. We are thrilled to bring home this important national recognition to our owners, the people of Bexar County.”

This U.S. News honor adds to the growing list of national recognition for University Health System, Bexar County’s academic medical center in partnership with The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The Health System was named a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center in February and University Hospital’s Transplant Intensive Care Unit earned the Beacon Award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. University Health System is also in the top one percent in the nation for implementation of electronic medical records.

Best Hospitals 2010-11 includes rankings in cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, ear, nose, and throat, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neurology and neurosurgery, ophthalmology, orthopedics, psychiatry, pulmonology, rehabilitation, rheumatology, and urology.

The rankings in 12 of the 16 specialties were driven by hard data such as death rates, procedure volume, and balance of nurses and patients. In the four remaining specialties--ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation, and rheumatology--hospitals were ranked on reputation alone.

To be considered in any of the 12 data-driven specialties, a hospital first had to meet at least one of four criteria: It had to be a teaching hospital, or be affiliated with a medical school, or have at least 200 beds, or have 100 or more beds and the availability of four or more types of medical technology considered important in a high-quality medical facility, such as a PET/CT scanner and certain precision radiation therapies.

Next, the hospitals had to meet a volume requirement, individually calculated for each specialty. The required volume was the number of Medicare inpatients from 2006 to 2008 who had various specified procedures and conditions in the specialty. A hospital that fell short could still qualify if it had been nominated by at least one physician in any of the U.S. News Best Hospitals reputational surveys conducted in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

“When the stakes are high, you want the best care you can get for yourself or someone close to you,” said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “These hospitals are accustomed to seeing the sickest patients day in and day out.”

University Health System is one of just two public health systems in Texas to be named a U.S. News Best Hospital this year. Parkland Hospital and Health System in Dallas is the other. Other Texas hospitals to be ranked are Baylor and University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, along with MD Anderson, Methodist, St. Luke’s Episcopal and Memorial Hermann in Houston.