Three questions with ... Dennis McCulloch, a Kansas University Hospital spokesman
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Kansas University Hospital is ranked nationally as having the 30th best heart care and heart surgery program in U.S. News and World Report's "Best Hospitals" issue, to be released today.
Leaders with the hospital in Kansas City, Kan., on Thursday announced the ranking and said it was the hospital's first time to make a U.S. News specialty ranking. They also touted that the hospital revitalized its heart care and heart surgery program only six years ago.
"We've proven in just a short amount of time we could build a program based on quality outcomes for patients, develop record-high patient satisfaction, conduct significant cardiac research and help teach the next generation of physicians," Bob Page, KU Hospital's president and CEO, said in a statement.
Page credited the work of physicians, nurses and other staff for helping achieve a 0.63 risk-adjusted mortality rate in the rankings for Medicare patients from 2003 to 2005. A rate lower than 1.00 means the mortality rate was lower than expected, and KU Hospital ranked fourth-lowest in that criteria of the top 50 hospitals on the list, said hospital spokesman Dennis McCulloch.
Page and McCulloch said the adjusted mortality rate carried the hospital in the rankings because of the program's youth, as KU Hospital received no credit in the rankings' other component - a national reputation survey.
Hospital leaders also said it achieved the highest-ranked heart program in the area and the highest U.S. News ranking in specialty areas of any area hospital.
KU Hospital is involved in three-way negotiations with Kansas University Medical Center and St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., as KUMC and St. Luke's have discussed establishing an affiliation. KU Hospital has been KUMC's main teaching hospital and split with the school in 1998.
McCulloch said the parties were still trying to reach an agreement that would be a "win for everybody."
"We've said for a long time that we have pride in every aspect of our operation, and we will stack up the quality of this operation to any hospital in the country," he said.
UPDATE: 10:45 a.m.: St. Luke's Hospital also has ranked specialty programs in the U.S. News and World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" issue released this morning.
St. Luke's in Kansas City, Mo., received rankings of 33rd in neurology and neurosurgery, 34th in heart care and heart programs, and 36th in gynecology.
Overall in the rankings released this morning, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore made the top of the U.S. News honor roll by scoring 30 points in 15 different specialties. Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis ranked eighth in the honor roll list for scoring 18 overall points in 11 different specialties.
Also in the St. Louis area, SSM St. Mary's Health Center, St. John's Mercy Medical Center and the St. Louis University Hospital made rankings in some specialties.
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City and the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver each made rankings in several different specialities. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston earned the top cancer program ranking and also made three other specialty lists.