The dedicated professionals at Vanderbilt saved my life ["America's Best Hospitals: the 2009-10 Honor Roll," usnews.com]. Healthcare consumers should know that if they may have an unusual problem they are going to get the finest care in the world at a teaching hospital such as Vanderbilt or the other superlative hospitals on the honor roll. None of these institutions is perfect but they try. My care team is among the finest people I have ever met!
Comment by Jack Kucera of TN
I spent some time in top-ranked hospitals doing some clinical work for a class. Hospital care is most dependent on the staff and nursing assistant on duty during your stay. They are most in contact with the patients and make all the difference with their care and attitude. I think hospitals should better filter their nursing assistants to be sure they really care about patients and not just a paycheck. I say go to the closest hospital and pray that God puts good professionals in your path.
Comment by Lydia of FL
Though my own "data" is only based on personal experience, I have to say how happy I am that Johns Hopkins consistently comes out on top of the rankings! My own experience is with Johns Hopkins Neurology, and every time I go there for an appointment, I continue to be amazed by the high level of importance they give to patient care. I'm getting answers there no other hospital was able to give me—they are truly diagnostic masters. Along with their impressive level of knowledge/intellect and their dedication to a team approach, the doctors have such a good sense of humanity and caring. To me, patient care is one of the biggest markers of a superior institution ... this is why I'm so pleased that Hopkins gets the respect it deserves!
Comment by Jill S. of NJ
I'm not sure these rankings are really all that helpful. There are many wonderful doctors sprinkled around, and every hospital has a few good ones, if you are lucky enough to get one. So to me, it's not so much about the hospital's reputation as about the individual doctor you get. Quality healthcare rests more on the patient and his/her willingness and ability to probe, ask the right questions, insist on answers, and try another doctor if the one you have isn't making sense or helping. Of course the top hospitals offer you a better chance of getting quality care with less fuss, but ultimately it rests on each of us to be persistent, and to understand that even with all the great technology and expertise, doctoring (diagnosis and treatment) still involves a lot of educated guesses and is as much an art form as a science. Each person's chemistry is a little different, and each ailment is a little different, and although the best doctors make better judgments about how to proceed, even the best don't always get it right the first time.
Comment by Rob Platten of PA
No doubt there are many fine medical facilities in the U.S., however you failed to mention Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital in Milwaukee. I personally would trust the health of any of my loved ones to Froedtert. They are a teaching and learning institution and on the cutting edge of everything. Not to mention that you cannot find better trained or caring doctors and nurses anywhere.
Comment by Ruth Ann Cross of WI
I'm pleased to be a patient of St. John's in Springfield, Missouri, and have always been happy with the level of care they've provided to me and my family. St. John's may not be a Mayo Clinic or a Johns Hopkins, but I think it's the best hospital in the Ozarks.
Comment by Laura Rios of MO