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MUSC ranked again as state's No. 1 hospital

Staff Report | | August 2, 2016

Dr. Paul Lambert and  Rachel Passailaigue-Porter
Sarah Pack
Dr. Paul Lambert, chairman of the high-ranked Department of Otolaryngology, examines Rachel Passailaigue-Porter during a recent visit.

MUSC was named by U.S. News & World Report as the number one hospital in South Carolina and one of the country's top 50 hospitals in the treatment of ear, nose and throat disorders; gynecology; nephrology; urology; and cancer.

MUSC also was high performing in gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and rheumatology.

Patrick Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and MUSC vice president of health affairs, said he’s proud of the rankings. “This year, we had numerous clinical teams reach national ranking, which reflects their commitment to deliver the highest level of quality and safe care for every patient,” Cawley said.

“These rankings reflect not just reputation but patient outcomes, teaching the next generation of care providers and developing new innovations to improve health and health care leadership. We are honored to carry on this robust mission for South Carolina and the nation."

For ENT, this latest ranking marks a break into the top 15 hospitals in the country. Paul Lambert, M.D., director of the MUSC Department of Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, was pleased his division was again recognized as one of the nation’s leading ENT centers.

Dr. Donna Johnson and Dr. David SoperSarah Pack 
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Chairwoman Dr. Donna Johnson talks with Dr. David Soper, director of the Division of Obstetric & Gynecologic Specialists. 

“We set a goal in our department more than a decade ago to reach the top 20, and this year’s ranking by U.S. News & World Report as No. 14 in the United States is a further validation of our excellence in the MUSC tripartite mission of patient care, education and research,” Lambert said.

“It is a tangible testament to the dedication and work ethic of our incredible faculty – physicians, scientists, audiologists, advanced practice providers, nurses and administrative staff. We are pleased with our recognition by U.S. News & World Report, but equally delighted with the record number of MUSC departments and divisions – adult and pediatric – also recognized. The future of our institution is indeed bright.”

Other top 50 rankings included gynecology at No. 39; nephrology, No. 43; urology, No. 45; and cancer No. 47.

David Soper, M.D., director of MUSC Health’s Division of Obstetric & Gynecologic Specialists, said he credits part of his division’s ranking to teamwork.

“Honestly, the reason we are top 50 is the people. It’s the physicians, the nurses, the staff - both in the offices, in the operating rooms and in our academic offices - who help us day in and day out, to provide not only high-tech but also high-touch, as in compassionate and careful care. My colleagues love what they do and it shows. They come to work every day with that wonder of how we can change women's lives and change what's possible.”

Soper said another strength is the depth of the division’s multidisciplinary clinical offerings. Of note:

  • MUSC Health Bladder & Pelvic Health Program, led by urogynecologists Steven Swift, M.D., and Autumn Edenfield, M.D., who specialize in medical and surgical management of women with urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence and pelvic floor relaxation disorders. 
  • A minimally-invasive surgery center with experienced physicians in robotic surgeries for benign disease as well as gynecologic malignancies.
  • Reproductive infectious disease experts who offer care in all viral and bacterial diseases complicating pregnancy, including HIV and the Zika virus.
  • A family planning and early pregnancy failure clinic, headed by Angela Dempsey, M.D., who is specially trained in modern contraceptive technologies.
  • Menopausal specialists who provide the latest in care available for women struggling with menopausal symptoms.

But Soper said it’s not just clinical care. He praised ongoing research and translational collaborations. That includes cancer treatments organized through MUSC’s Gynecologic Oncology Program and MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center. It also includes research unrelated to cancer, such as a uterine fibroid study that uses novel pharmacologic agents to allow women with fibroids to avoid surgery and still manage their symptoms.

“We believe that working together we can change what is possible and no goal is too lofty or patient too complex,” Soper said. 

U.S. News & World Report unveiled the 27th edition of the Best Hospitals rankings at Designed to help patients with life-threatening or rare conditions identify hospitals that excel in treating the most difficult cases, Best Hospitals includes consumer-friendly data and information on nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide. In the 2016-17 rankings, 153 U.S. hospitals performed well enough in complex care to be nationally ranked in one or more specialties. U.S. News also identified 504 Best Regional Hospitals, ranking them by state and metro area based on their performance in both complex and common care.

The Best Hospitals methodology measures patient volume, risk-adjusted survival rates and adequacy of nurse staffing, among other care-related indicators. U.S. News further expanded the number of physicians surveyed for the 2016-17 rankings. Methodology updates made for 2016-17 include:

  • U.S. News evaluated hospitals in four new areas: abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, colon cancer surgery and lung cancer surgery.
  • U.S. News made further adjustments to account for the socioeconomic mix of patients treated at hospitals. As a result, a hospital will not be negatively impacted if it sees large numbers of low-income patients.
  • U.S. News credited hospitals that voluntarily make key data public in cardiology & heart surgery. The change reduced the weight reputation has in the specialty. 

“We strive to provide patients with the highest-quality information on hospitals available,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News. “Driving for broader transparency and evaluating hospitals in a comprehensive, fair way reflects that mission.”

The specialty rankings and data were produced for U.S. News by RTI International, a leading research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. U.S. News used both the specialty rankings and its recently published Best Hospitals for Common Care ratings to produce the Best Regional Hospitals.

U.S. News first began publishing hospital rankings in 1990 as part of an expanding group of consumer advice products. During the past 27 years, the Best Hospitals rankings have helped guide millions of patients and their families to high-quality hospital care when they need it most. 

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