Healthleaders Media Staff, August 7, 2012

The tools available to hospitals, medical professionals, and consumers for evaluating facilities on quality of care, safety, and other measures is growing.

The U.S. government posts data on readmissions, mortality, and other measures on its Hospital Compare site. That data may be used by others to build their own ranking systems. In June, the Leapfrog Group introduced "Hospital Safety Score" which assigns letter grades based on safety metrics. In July, Consumer Reports' hospital safety ratings were rolled out.

To see how top hospitals measured 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.

Although the 17 hospitals and healthcare institutions listed in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Roll represent an overall ranking, with the hospitals in the list ranking near the top in 6 or more specialty rankings, 35% of its measurement is based on reputation

U.S. News said its 2012 rankings involved a change in methodology to include more clinical data from healthcare institutions, but the variation between certain institutions’ U.S. News standings and their safety scores from The Leapfrog Group and Consumer Reports raise questions around the prestige given to the Best Hospitals lists. CR and Leapfrog also give a few institutions opposing scores.

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