A top performing hospital for orthpedics

10/13/11 — Washington D.C. – St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, Ga., has been ranked a top performing hospital in America for orthopedics in U.S. News Media & World Report’s 2011-12 Best Hospitals rankings, available online at www.usnews.com/besthospitals. The rankings, annually published by U.S. News for the past 22 years, are also featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals guidebook.

The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area.

“Providing outstanding orthopedic care is part of St. Mary’s mission as a compassionate healing presence in our community,” said St. Mary’s President and CEO Don McKenna. “We are especially grateful to our dedicated orthopedic physicians who have led our teams to ever higher levels of excellence. We are grateful for their commitment to our patients and the mission of St. Mary’s.”

“St. Mary’s has been known for years for the excellence of our programs in total knee and total hip replacement,” said Mandi Haslett, RN, Director of Orthopedics. “We are deeply honored that people from across Georgia and the Southeast choose to come to St. Mary’s for these highly sophisticated procedures. Being ranked as a Best Hospital for orthopedic care is an exciting recognition of the excellence our team of physicians, nurses, therapists and others has achieved.”

The Best Hospitals ranking is another in a growing list of honors and certifications that reflect the quality of St. Mary’s orthopedics programs, McKenna said. Among them:

* Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval since 2008 for specialty certification in total knee replacement

* Ranked as the number one hospital in Georgia for joint replacement in 2011 by Georgia Trend Magazine

* Continuously chosen by the University of Georgia Athletic Association as the official healthcare provider for the Georgia Bulldogs since 1999.

According to U.S. News and World Report, the core mission of Best Hospitals is to help guide patients who need an especially high level of care because of a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age.

“These are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high.”

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions. The regional rankings are aimed primarily at consumers whose care may not demand the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospital or who may not be willing or able to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their community and in their health insurance network.

“These are hospitals we call ‘high performers.’ They are fully capable of giving most patients first-rate care, even if they have serious conditions or need demanding procedures,” Comarow said. “Almost every major metro area has at least one of these hospitals.”

Hard numbers stand behind the rankings in most specialties—death rates, patient safety, procedure volume, and other objective data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.

The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.