U.S. News again ranks UW Medical Center Seattle's and state's best hospital

Rehabilitation medicine and cancer care services are among nation’s top 5 in annual hospital ranking; UW Medicine system earns other high ratings

By Leila Gray  |  HSNewsBeat  |  Updated 5:15 PM, 08.07.2017

Posted in: Healthcare

  • A UW Medicine patient receives a mammogram for breast cancer screening. U.S. News ranks UW Medical Center, in the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, as one of the nation's top 5 in cancer care. Clare McLean

University of Washington Medical Center, part of the UW Medicine health system, today, Aug. 8,  again earned U.S. News & World Report’s No. 1 hospital ranking in Washington state and in the Seattle metropolitan area. It is the sixth consecutive year that UW Medical Center has achieved both distinctions. 

UW Medical Center received top-20 national rankings in three specialties. It is ranked No. 5 in rehabilitation medicine, No. 5 in cancer care, and No. 20 in geriatrics, the care of older adults. 

Its rehabilitation medicine program is run jointly with UW Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center. UW Medical Center cancer services are provided through Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, which is under the ownership and shared governance of UW Medicine, Seattle Children’s and Fred Hutch.

Joining UW Medical Center among the Best Regional Hospitals were Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, and Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash.

UW Medical Center info graphic rankings
(Click to expand image) Some reasons why UW Medical Center is a leading hospital
UWMC rankings infographic

The two are also in the UW Medicine system. Both were in a three-way tie for No. 6 in the Seattle metropolitan area, and in a three-way tie for No. 8 in Washington state. Harborview also was nationally ranked in orthopedics and rated high-performing in urology.

Valley Medical Center in Renton, Wash., was recognized for its high performance in treating heart failure and in hip and knee replacements. Northwest Hospital & Medical Center received a high- performing rating in hip replacements.

The news magazine has published its 2017-2018 national, state and local rankings of “Best Hospitals” across the United States. The results are from an independent, nationwide evaluation of more than 4,500 facilities. 

The rankings come from an analysis of comprehensive data that measures the quality and performance of medical centers in the care of patients and throughout different specialties. The research methods included evaluating risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety, quality of nursing care, and other indicators.

“I would like to commend all of our UW Medicine faculty and staff who exemplify dedication to the well-being of every person in our care and to meeting each patients’ individual health needs,” said Dr. Paul G. Ramsey, CEO of UW Medicine.

“We are honored that UW Medical Center has once again been named the top hospital for our city and state,” he added. “As a public institution, UW Medicine strives to excel in its commitment to serve the people of our region, to be a national and global leader in improving healthcare, and to accelerate treatment advances.  I’m proud of the nurses, faculty physicians and teams, and others who have chosen to be a part of this mission.”

The current approach used in the U.S. News hospital rankings is designed to make measures of hospital quality more transparent to the public. The intent is to give patients information to help them find the best care across a range of specialties, according to Ben Harder, U.S. News chief of health analysis.

Nationally, UW Medical Center also ranked well in these adult specialties:  ear, nose and throat (31), diabetes & endocrinology (tied at 40), nephrology (tied at 44), gastroenterology & GI surgery (45), cardiology & heart surgery (tied at 45), orthopedics (tied at 45); and pulmonary (48).

In addition, U.S. News, as another aspect of its methodology, graded hospitals on care in specific conditions and procedures. UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, and Valley Medical Center – the four hospitals in the UW Medicine system – earned a “high performing”  in these areas:

•    Aortic valve surgery 1

•    Heart-bypass surgery 1

•    Heart failure 1, 3

•    Colon cancer surgery 1

•    Hip replacement 3, 4

•    Knee replacement 3

•    Lung cancer surgery 1
•    Neurology and neurosurgery 1

(Legend: 1=UW Medical Center; 2=Harborview Medical Center; 
3=Valley Medical Center; 4=Northwest Hospital & Medical Center)

UW Medical Center, Harborview Medical Center, and Valley Medical Center also each earned a Puget Sound Best Hospitals designation and were named Best Regional Hospitals.  

The U.S. News “Best Hospitals” rankings are in their 28th year.

Please see a video where UW Medical Center staff talk about their workplace.  Also, see the latest rankings on the UW Medicine website.

Media contacts:

UW Medicine: Leila Gray, cell: 206.475.9809,

U.S. News: Lucy Lyons, 202-995-2155

About UW Medicine

UW Medicine is one of the top-rated academic medical systems in the world. With a mission to improve the health of the public, UW Medicine educates the next generation of physicians and scientists, leads one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive medical research programs, and provides outstanding care to patients from across the globe. UW Medicine’s four hospitals – Harborview Medical Center, Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Valley Medical Center – admit more than 64,000 patients each year. A network of hospital-based and outpatient clinics, including 12 UW Neighborhood Clinics, see more than 1.3 million patients each year. 

The UW School of Medicine, part of the UW Medicine system, leads the internationally recognized, community-based WWAMI Program, which serves the states of Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The UW School of Medicine has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in primary-care training for more than 20 years by U.S. News & World Report. The School of Medicine faculty receives more than $1 billion per year in research funding. The medical school is the top public institution recipient of biomedical research funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and second among all public and private institutions for NIH funding. 

UW Medicine has 26,000 employees and an annual budget of nearly $5 billion. Also part of the UW Medicine system are Airlift Northwest and the UW Physicians practice group, the largest physician practice plan in the region. UW Medicine shares in the ownership and governance of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Seattle Children’s, and also shares in ownership of Children’s University Medical Group with Seattle Children’s. 

For more information, visit 

Tagged with: rankings, patient care, cancer, rehabilitation medicine, top hospitals, Honors and Awards
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