Health Care

Baptist Hospital ranked No. 1 in region

Baptist Hospital of Miami, on Kendall Drive, was ranked the top medical center in the area in an annual report released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report.
Baptist Hospital of Miami, on Kendall Drive, was ranked the top medical center in the area in an annual report released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report. EL NUEVO HERALD

Baptist Hospital of Miami, anchor for one of the region’s largest non-profit healthcare systems, was ranked the No. 1 hospital in South Florida in a survey released Tuesday by U.S. News & World Report magazine — a report designed to help consumers choose the best medical facility for their condition.

While Baptist was rated the top hospital for the region, South Florida’s only nationally ranked hospital remained Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which achieved the No. 1 ranking in the country for ophthalmology for the 12th consecutive year.

Last year, Baptist Hospital was ranked No. 2 among more than 70 hospitals in the area. But a change in U.S. News’s methodology for the rankings, as well as Baptist Hospital’s strong performance in medical specialties and so-called “common care” standards, pushed the South Miami-Dade medical center to the top of the regional list.

“This means a great deal,” said Michael Fili, an endocrinologist and president of the medical staff at Baptist Hospital. “You really can't deliver great hospital products or great healthcare without all the different wings working together: nursing, pharmacy, physicians, administration. It really needs to be coordinated.’’

Also listed in the top five were two Broward County medical centers, including Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, which ranked No. 2 overall in South Florida, and Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, which was No. 3.

U.S. News draws from a variety of sources to create the rankings, including Medicare reports on risk-adjusted mortality rates and patient safety, and data collected by the American Hospital Association.

This year, U.S. News changed the way it ranks hospitals in regional markets by employing a new set of criteria called “common care” and by setting a higher bar for hospitals to be considered “high performing’’ in one of 16 different specialties, said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and a managing editor at the magazine.

“We made a methodology change to make sure we were highlighting for patients and healthcare consumers the hospitals that stood out across the board as much as possible,’’ Harder said.

In order for hospitals to be considered “high performing” in a medical specialty this year, Harder said, that hospital had to score 90 percent or higher in that specialty. Last year, the threshold was 75 percent, he said.

Common care gauges medical quality and patient safety on “things hospitals see every day,’’ Harder said, including three types of surgeries — heart bypass, hip replacement and knee replacement — and two long-term illnesses, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.

The change in methodology caused some hospitals that ranked high last year to drop in the regional ratings. Jackson Memorial in Miami, which ranked No. 7 in 2014, and Memorial Regional in Hollywood, which ranked No. 11, did not make Florida’s top 20 this year.

Baptist Hospital did not rank among the nation’s top hospitals in any medical specialties. But the hospital scored 90 percent or higher in four of specialties, including geriatrics, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology and ear, nose and throat. The hospital also scored high in four of the five common care criteria.

South Florida’s Top Ranked Hospitals

1. Baptist Hospital of Miami

2. Holy Cross Hospital, in Fort Lauderdale

3. Cleveland Clinic Florida, in Weston

4. Boca Raton Regional Hospital

4. Mount Sinai Medical Center, in Miami Beach

6. Broward Health Medical Center, in Fort Lauderdale

7. Homestead Hospital

Source: U.S. News & World Report