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UF Health Shands Hospital ranks among nation’s best in seven medical specialties

Outside UF Health Shands Hospital

University of Florida Health Shands Hospital ranks among the nation’s elite in seven adult medical specialties in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 “Best Hospitals” report .

No other Florida hospital has more than seven adult specialties ranked in the nation’s top 50, up from six ranked specialties a year ago. And for the fifth year in a row, UF Health Shands is ranked in more adult and pediatric specialties combined than any other hospital in the state – a total of 12, factoring in the pediatric rankings released in June.

UF Health Shands maintained its No. 2 position overall among Florida hospitals at a time of volatility as other health systems’ rankings fluctuated in the state, with its highest national rankings coming in urology and nephrology.

Both nephrology and urology are ranked 24th in the nation. UF Health’s other ranked specialties are geriatrics (37th), diabetes and endocrinology (40th), gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery (40th), cancer (42nd) and pulmonology and lung surgery (44th).

“Every day, the entire UF Health Shands team shows its dedication to the highest-quality patient care,” said David R. Nelson, M.D., senior vice president of health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “These rankings are the result of the skill and intense dedication of our caregivers and staff. And our patients benefit from that.”

In addition to the ranked specialties, two others are rated as “high performing” — placing them in the top 10 percent of hospitals reviewed by U.S. News. Those are neurology and neurosurgery, and orthopaedics.

“The achievement of once again having nationally ranked medical specialties is a hard-earned and well-deserved accomplishment by our physicians, nurses and staff,” said Ed Jimenez, CEO of UF Health Shands Hospital. “Every year, our accolades are merely a starting point. We are constantly striving to build on our remarkable reputation for patient care, innovation and physician training. That commitment is why so many patients choose UF Health Shands for their treatment.”

UF Health’s urology practice achieved a national ranking after improving on its position as a “high performing” program last year. It has achieved a U.S. News national ranking 11 times since 2005.

The department has outstanding faculty who have received advanced fellowship training from top medical centers in the United States and Canada, said Li-Ming Su, M.D., a professor of urologic oncology and chair of the UF College of Medicine’s department of urology. Su also attributes the improved ranking to accomplishments that include expanded general and subspecialty urology services that allow for timely access for patients seeking urologic care, the development of online and printed materials to help patients navigate their care at UF Health, and multidisciplinary care teams for urologic cancers and kidney stone patients. Patients have also benefited from established resident training rotations that ensure continuity of treatment from a consistent care team throughout the preoperative, hospitalization and postoperative phases of their care, Su added.

“These efforts allow us to provide ideal patient-centered care that meets each patient’s unique needs and expectations,” Su said.

C. Parker Gibbs, M.D., chief medical officer for UF Health Shands, said the rankings validate the commitment to excellence in a wide range of medical specialties.

“Patients come to us with high expectations for care, safety and innovation. Our medical care teams and hospital staff have worked tirelessly to establish and maintain that reputation,” he said.

U.S. News also reviewed treatment of “common procedures and conditions” at hospitals nationwide. For the third consecutive year, UF Health has been rated “high performing” for five adult procedures. Those are lung cancer surgery, abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, colon cancer surgery, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD.

“Everyone at UF Health Shands can be especially proud of the teamwork that brings national distinction to our work in clinical care, education and research,” said Joseph A. Tyndall, M.D., a professor of emergency medicine and interim dean of the UF College of Medicine. “Our commitment to patients never wavers.”

UF Health Jacksonville also was recognized as a high-performing hospital in three specialties, including two national rankings. Its ear, nose and throat program is ranked 41st nationally and the nephrology specialty placed 45th. The neurology/neurosurgery program was recognized as high performing. UF Health Jacksonville increased its overall ranking among local and state hospitals from 22nd to 16th in Florida.

The “Best Hospitals” rankings are based on measures such as survival rates, patient safety and specialized staff across 16 adult medical specialties at nearly 5,000 medical centers. The publication also analyzed survey responses from thousands of physicians as part of the rankings.

Visit to see the full rankings and methodology.

About the author

Doug Bennett
Science Writer, Editor

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