In yet another annual list of best hospitals, the Joint Commission has named 620 acute care hospitals as "Top Performers on Key Quality Measures," for 2011. The list has grown by 215 hospitals over last year's roster.
But as in last year's lineup, absent from the list were most hospitals that usually show up at the top of "best hospitals" lists, such as Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts General, Stanford University Medical Center, New York Presbyterian, Brigham and Women's or any of the hospitals in the University of California system.
Slideshow: 3 Hospital Rating Tools Compared
See how top hospitals measure up across three ratings systems. We compare hospital safety scores from the Leapfrog Group and Consumer Reports alongside the overall rankings of U.S. News & World Report's 17 top-rated hospitals. >>>
Teaching hospitals, or academic medical centers, were largely absent, a concern that prompted criticism of the Joint Commission's report last year.
Mary Kay Bowie, the JC's associate director, says that's because the selection criteria the accreditation organization used "is a solely objective representation of a hospital's performance. These data are submitted by the hospitals themselves, instead of using data that are developed or collected by any external organization, to determine which hospitals make the list."