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Release: Immediate

July 13, 2001

U.S. News ranks nine UI Hospitals and Clinics specialties among nation's best

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics ranks overall as one of "America's Best Hospitals" with nine of the hospital's specialties ranking among the nation's top 50 in an annual survey published by U.S. News & World Report magazine.

Three of the honored specialties -- Otolaryngology-ear, nose, and throat (2), Ophthalmology-eyes (6), Orthopaedics-bones and joints (8) -- rank among the nation's Top 10 in the July 23, 2001 issue.

The other ranked specialties were:

    • Neurology/Neurosurgery (22)
    • Rheumatology (40)
    • Digestive disorders-gastroenterology (40)
    • Cancer (43)
    • Respiratory disorders-pulmonary (44)
    • Hormone disorders-endocrinology (48)

R. Edward Howell, director and chief executive officer of UI Hospitals and Clinics, said the rankings are one measure of the organization's commitment to excellence, but not the only one.

"It's always gratifying to see people recognized for a job well done," he said. "Still, it's impossible to quantify every aspect of our health care expertise. There is no doubt in my mind that all our physicians and staff take pride in being the best at what they do."

Howell also noted that some ranked specialties -- including cancer and orthopaedics -- reflect the health needs of the state's residents. "Iowans can be justifiably proud that they have a highly regarded, comprehensive array of medical specialties available to them," he said.

Nevertheless, Howell said, Iowans should take all health care rankings in total context. "It is one way to measure quality but not necessarily the only way," he said. "From the public's vantage point, consistent recognition across a broad spectrum of measurement methods is probably a better indicator of quality than relying too heavily on a single ranking. For instance, our own survey methods indicated that 90 percent of our patients are very satisfied with the care they receive and 95 percent said they would recommend us to their family and friends."

The 2001 rankings represent the 12th time in 12 years that UI Hospitals and Clinics has been recognized as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report.

The methodology for "America's Best Hospitals" was created in 1993 by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, which has revised and carried it out since then. U.S. News ranked 17 specialties this year. The methodology used for ranking 13 specialties includes a combination of reputation, mortality rate, and other data. The four other specialties are based on reputational data secured from a nationwide survey of board certified physicians.

The complete rankings are available on the World Wide Web at

U.S. News & World Report provides only one measure of the services available through UI Health Care, the partnership between the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the UI College of Medicine. In 1999, 152 UI Hospitals and Clinics physicians were listed on the "Best Doctors in America" database -- half the total number of "Best Doctors" in Iowa.

Additionally, U.S. News & World Report ranks the UI College of Medicine among the top 30 graduate schools for medical education; the college's family medicine and rural medicine programs rank in the top five. The college also received a Bronze Achievement Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians for its efforts to produce graduates who enter the field of family practice.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs, and services they provide. Visit UI Health Care online at