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Massachusetts General claims top spot on U.S. News Best Hospitals list


Photo courtesy of MGH
Confetti showers attendees at a celebration at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The facility was named No. 1 in the nation on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals list.

Confetti flew from a “duck boat” carrying Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Massachusetts General Hospital staff around the campus as part of a rolling rally, a city tradition to congratulate sports champions. That was followed by a reception. All of the pomp and circumstance this summer was in celebration of the facility earning the top spot on U.S. News and World Report’s 2012-13 America’s Best Hospitals ranking’s prestigious Honor Roll.

“We wanted to share with our employees this wonderful honor, but the work continues,” said Jeanette Ives-Erickson, RN, DNP, FAAN, senior vice president for patient care services and chief nurse at Massachusetts General, who added she felt humbled by the recognition. Massachusetts General displaced The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, which had held the top spot for 21 consecutive years. Hopkins was No. 2 in this year’s rankings.

Jackie Somerville, RN

David F. Torchiana, MD, CEO and chairman of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, called the survey a tool to measure one’s progress, but added that he considers diseases, healthcare costs, accessibility and other social issues the competition, not fellow hospitals.

“MGH is a remarkable place of healing, where hope can be renewed,” Ives-Erickson said. “There’s an entrepreneurial spirit, and we distinguish ourself because of our incredible workforce who get up every day to do good in the world.”

More than 5,000 RNs practice at Massachusetts General, a Magnet-designated hospital. Ives-Erickson praised the hospital’s nurses for continually enhancing quality; safe, relationship-centered care; and patient satisfaction, along with valuing education, innovating and serving the community.

“The U.S. News ranking raises the bar and means we need to make sure we advance our commitment to the delivery of the highest quality care,” Ives-Erickson said. The celebration helped remind everyone associated with the hospital that “we need to renew our commitment to move forward, being mindful this is just one moment in time.”

Jeanette Ives-Erickson, RN

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, NGH’s fellow Partners Healthcare facility, ranked ninth in the U.S. News Honor Roll, which recognized the nation’s top 17 hospitals.

“Moving forward, we will continue to ensure, as knowledge workers, we will keep pace with the changes in the state of the science,” said Jackie Somerville, RN, PhD, senior vice president of patient care services and CNO at Brigham and Women’s, who said she was thrilled with the honor.

Somerville said the facility’s rich history, which dates back to 1832, along with a quest to stay on the forefront of safe care delivery while pioneering new advances in care, such as the first face transplant, contributed to its high ranking.

“We offer hope for what might be possible today and tomorrow,” Somerville said. As Brigham and Women’s nurses learn from caring for patients undergoing new procedures and treatments, they share that knowledge with fellow nurses within the system and in the broader community.

Brigham and Women’s integrates nurse and patient voices into decisions and is focusing on embracing diversity and eliminating health disparities.

“We have had a major focus this year about creating an inclusive environment, one where we celebrate our differences and at the same time embrace the common ground we share,” Somerville said.

“We are blessed with an amazing nursing staff, and many have incredible longevity,” Somerville said. “We are fortunate to have the wisdom and knowledge that comes from many years at the bedside, serving patients and families.”

In the U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings, Boston Children’s Hospital tied for the No. 1 national honor with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Boston Children’s ranked in the top four nationally in all 10 specialty categories by which facilities were judged, including No. 1 in Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, and Neurology & Neurosurgery.

Debra Anscombe Wood, RN, is a freelance writer.


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