Interpreting Hospital Rankings


If you have been to a hospital lately, you may have seen signs advertising the hospital as a “Top Hospital” or one of “America’s Best.” But what does that really mean? There are many organizations that rank, rate or grade hospitals. Sometimes rankings conflict with one another, and it can be confusing. 

Each ranking system uses different data points, time periods, and methods to come up with their lists. For example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) use a five-star rating system based on 57 different hospital quality measures found on Hospital Compare. The Leapfrog Group grades hospitals on a range of patient safety measures. Other organizations, such as US News & Consumer Reports and Healthgrades, rate hospitals on performance for health outcomes, specialty care, and patient satisfaction.

Remember that no single ranking system is completely comprehensive. If you are searching for the best hospital for your needs, check out the information on the Hospital Guide right here on this website to help you make an informed decision. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about the facility where you expect to receive care.