Minnesota residents have reason to celebrate this month: The Mayo Clinic, located in Rochester, was recently named the nation's top hospital in U.S. News and World Report's 2014-2015 rankings. New York, Boston, and Los Angeles also made out well, as the only cities with more than one hospital making the top 17 "Honor Roll" list.
The Honor Roll, which was released July 15, also includes Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, in second through fifth place, respectively. (You can see the complete list here.) These were chosen from nearly 5,000 medical centers across the country, based on "objective data on hospital performance," the report's overview explains, such as patient safety and survival rates, nurse staffing numbers, and reputation.
Each hospital was also ranked for 16 different medical specialties. Specifically, the Mayo Clinic ranked first in eight different areas of practice: diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose, and throat; gastroenterology and GI surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; and pulmonology.
"This is a tremendous acknowledgement of the great work our staff does every day to deliver high quality, affordable health care for our patients," says John Wald, M.D., the Mayo Clinic's medical director for public affairs and marketing. "There are many external agencies that rate quality in health care, and Mayo Clinic is top ranked for quality by more well-known national assessment organizations than any other academic medical center in the nation."
Don't live in or near one of the cities represented on the Honor Roll? The folks at U.S. News took care of that too: The rankings also include more than 600 other high-ranking hospitals by state, region, and metro area. And if you don't see one close to you, know that for most Americans, though—in an emergency, at least—the closest hospital is likely the smartest choice. Rankings can be more helpful for patients with ongoing needs, who may have time (and travel resources) to choose between several institutions that have experience treating their specific conditions.
Did your local hospital make the list? Tell us in the comments or tweet us at @Shape_Magazine!