Rankings giant U.S. News & World Report has published its annual Best Hospitals list since 1990, using a host of data as part of its methodology. Yet, since that time, the magazine has used just one factor to rank specialties like ophthalmology: an institution's reputation, determined by doctor votes.
It's a disparity Moran Eye Center CEO Randall J Olson, MD, has often thought about. U.S. News invited Olson to share his ideas for improving specialty rankings at its prestigious Healthcare of Tomorrow conference, being held in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Nov. 3. The annual event gathers health care leaders from around the nation and attracts a media spotlight.
Ophthalmology outcomes aren't nationally tracked, so it's difficult to add them to the methodology. But Olson suggested adding two other factors:
• The amount of peer-reviewed publications an institution generates relative to its number of researchers
• National Institutes of Health funding relative to researchers
Olson also argued doctors should only be allowed to vote for institutions outside of their regions and those they haven't trained at, ranking their top three choices.
"Each year, Moran does exceptionally well in these rankings," said Olson, "and it's impressive that many of our peers hold us in such high esteem. But, I believe adding additional measures could provide a more complete picture of the factors that lead to exceptional care."
The U.S. News & World Report 2017-2018 Best Hospitals for Ophthalmology rankings placed Moran Eye Center at No. 15 in the nation.