Quality Center

Healthgrades Research Reports, Top Hospitals, and Methodologies

In 1998, Healthgrades pioneered objective quality research to evaluate hospital quality in America and to recognize top-performing hospitals that are providing the best outcomes for their patients. We provide consumers with critical information at the time they need it most: when selecting a physician or hospital to care for themselves or family members.

Evaluating Hospital Quality Based on Clinical Outcomes

To help consumers understand, compare and evaluate hospital performance, Healthgrades provides objective, comprehensive information about hospital quality in America’s hospitals. Unlike other hospital quality analyses, Healthgrades evaluates hospitals solely on clinical outcomes—risk-adjusted mortality and in-hospital complications.

Our analysis is based on more than 45 million Medicare medical claims records for the most recent three-year time period available. The data measures hospital performance for the most common in-hospital procedures and conditions and adjusts for each patient’s risk factors, such as, age, gender, and medical condition.

Recognizing Superior Performance

Healthgrades recognizes the top-performing hospitals in the nation that have achieved quality excellence in particular specialties, clinical excellence, and patient safety. Healthgrades releases a comprehensive review of all hospitals each fall; and announces specialty achievements throughout the year on an annual basis.

As a result of our annual reports, the largest and most comprehensive of their kind, Healthgrades recognizes top hospitals in the nation that have an outstanding commitment to quality. The list below includes both the annual reports and the list of top hospitals based on our analysis.

NOTICE: Use of this website and any information contained herein is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.


Healthgrades Quality Achievements

Hospital Quality in America

The Healthgrades report on hospital quality in America shines a light on how well hospitals performed for the most common conditions and procedures, such as knee replacement, stroke, and heart attack. Healthgrades Specialty Excellence Awards honor top hospitals for superior performance within a specialty area, from cardiac care to spine surgery. Now Americans can directly link great doctors who work at great hospitals, increasing their likelihood of a better health outcome.

Bariatric Surgery

According to our latest report, bariatric surgery patients treated at hospitals receiving 5 stars for bariatric surgery are 70% less likely to experience in-hospital complications than patients treated at 1-star programs.*

*Healthgrades 2014 Bariatric Surgery Report

Methodology: Bariatric Surgery >

Maternity Care and Gynecologic Surgery

Each year, Healthgrades analyzes the quality of care of women during delivery and newborns at U.S. hospitals. Healthgrades recently added the Gynecologic Surgery Excellence Award™ in order to better inform women about their risks and outcomes for the most common gynecologic procedures.

Women's Health

Healthgrades found that being a woman increased the likelihood of death in cardiovascular surgery and acute heart attacks when compared to men.* In addition to cardiovascular care and bone and joint health, Healthgrades also evaluates hospitals for maternity care and gynecologic procedures for a complete view of women’s unique care needs.

*Healthgrades 2014 Women’s Health Report

Methodology: Women's Health Excellence Award™ >

Patient Safety In American Hospitals

Healthgrades recognizes Patient Safety Excellence Award™ recipients for their excellent performance in safeguarding patients from serious, potentially preventable complications during their hospital stay.

Methodology: Patient Safety >

Outstanding Patient Experience

This report identifies top U.S. hospitals for their outstanding performance in delivering a positive experience for patients during their hospital stay. See the top five priorities for hospitals to increase the likelihood that patients will recommend the hospital to family and friends. The areas that have the greatest influence on positive recommendations have a common thread—the personal touch.

Methodology: Outstanding Patient Experience Award™ >

America's Best Hospitals

The Healthgrades America’s Best Hospitals distinction honors hospitals for consistently delivering superior performance year over year across a broad spectrum of conditions and procedures, for a prolonged period of time. These hospitals—the top 1% and 2% in the nation—demonstrate that overall high-quality performance can be sustained year over year.

Hospital Quality and Clinical Excellence

What differentiates Distinguished Hospitals for Clinical Excellence™ from the rest is that while many hospitals have high-quality outcomes in specific areas of expertise, these hospitals exhibit comprehensive and superior quality across a range of medical specialties.

Emergency Medicine

Healthgrades no longer evaluates hospitals for emergency medicine care.

Methodology: Emergency Medicine Excellence Award >

Pediatric Patient Safety

Healthgrades no longer evaluates hospitals for pediatric patient safety.

Methodology: Pediatric Patient Safety >

Transplant Awards & Outcomes

Healthgrades no longer evaluates hospitals for transplant services.

Recognized Doctor

The Recognized Doctor methodology shows how Healthgrades recognizes board-certified doctors who are free of federal sanctions and malpractice. To make the Recognized Doctor list, a doctor must have never had his/her license suspended, surrendered or revoked.

Healthgrades Provider Search Methodology

There is significant variation in health outcomes between hospitals within the same community, potentially rendering the choice of a hospital and physician a matter of life and death. Moreover, there are significant differences in the frequency with which physicians diagnose, treat and conduct specific diseases conditions and procedures.


About Healthgrades

Nearly 1 million times a day Americans rely on Healthgrades websites to find, compare, select and connect with a doctor or hospital, and use its comprehensive information about clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction, patient safety, and health conditions to make more informed healthcare decisions. Take charge of your healthcare at  Healthgrades.com or download the new Healthgrades iPhone app from  iTunes. To learn more about our reports or methodologies please  click here. To view our Quality Advertising Guidelines, please  click here.

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