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July 20, 2006

UPMC wins 2 national awards

UPMC has garnered two national awards this month.

UPMC is the only hospital in Pennsylvania to earn “honor roll” status in U.S. News & World Report magazine’s 2006 America’s Best Hospitals survey. Overall, UPMC is ranked 14th in the nation, and is highly ranked in 13 of the 16 medical specialties categorized.

Out of 5,189 eligible hospitals in the nation, only 14 hospitals made the honor roll, and only 176 hospitals ranked in one or more of the 16 specialty areas. Hospitals earned honor roll status by listing at or near the top in at least six specialties — “a demonstration of broad expertise,” according to the magazine. This is the seventh time that UPMC has made the honor roll.

The mission of the survey, according to the magazine, is to “identify centers that take on and excel at tough procedures and conditions. That is why most of the institutions ranked are referral centers, where the sickest patients are sent for advanced care. Such hospitals follow — and often pioneer — new treatment guidelines. They conduct bench-to-bedside research. And they exploit the latest advances in imaging, surgical devices and other technologies.”

In the survey, UPMC ranks among the top hospitals in the following specialty categories: 4th in ear, nose and throat; 11th in pediatrics (Children’s Hospital); 12th in cancer; 12th in orthopaedics; 12th in psychiatry; 13th in gynecology (Magee-Womens Hospital); 13th in rheumatology; 13th in digestive disorders; 16th in kidney disease; 16th in respiratory disorders; 17th in endocrinology; 19th in neurology and neurosurgery, and 22nd in urology.

The 2006 America’s Best Hospitals rankings were published in the July 17 edition of U.S. News & World Report. Rankings also appear on line at

UPMC also was one of the 100 most wired hospitals and health systems in the United States, according to the 2006 Most Wired Survey and Benchmarking Study by Hospitals & Health Networks, the journal of the American Hospital Association. UPMC is one of only seven organizations to make the list eight times.

The survey recognizes hospitals that are using information technology to improve quality of care and patient safety, customer service, business processes and public health.

The latest survey found that the 100 most wired hospitals are increasingly helping consumers take charge of their health care by providing tools via the Internet, including on-line test results, health coaching and pre-registration services.

UPMC has developed a patient portal called HealthTrak, now available to more than 3,300 patients, which offers access to individual personal health information as well as disease management tools for diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Patients also can use it to send routine inquiries to their physicians.

Hospitals & Health Networks conducted the 2006 survey in cooperation with Accenture, McKesson Corp. and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives. The cover story detailing the results is available on line at

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