Chicago Hospitals
Zip Code: Within: 2007 2008 2009

Click on a hospital's marker for detailed hospital ratings information.

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Important: This tool should not be used to make medical decisions - check the original data source (HHS Hospital Search) and discuss hospital options with your physician to select the best hospital for you.

Chicago Hospital Ratings

Hospital quality varies widely in Chicago - with, surprisingly, fewer highly ranked hospitals than several other metropolitan areas (compare, for example, to New York hospitals). We looked at hospitals within 10 miles of a central zip code 60601, and determined these rankings from the metrics set out by the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Best Chicago Hospitals

Three hospitals drew the best ratings in Chicago.

Rush University Medical Center - this hospital goes to the top of the list, getting excellent scores in all four major categories. Add to that excellent specialty and tertiary care, this hospital currently holds sway as Chicago's best hospital.

St. Joseph Hospital - like Rush this hospital performed well on all primary care measures. A strong showing for a community hospital.

St Mary & Elizabeth Medical Center - Claremont Campus and with its Division Campus - also performed well across the board with boderline mediocre/excellent (on the high end) performance for surgical infection prevention.

Dropping out of the top rankings in the most recent data set is

Northwestern Memorial Hospital - drawing mid-range scores for heart failure and pneumonia care.

Worst Chicago Hospitals

Two Chicago hospitals garnered the worst ratings. Each has unique challenges.

John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital - this is not a surprise to anyone from Chicago. The hospital is drastically overburdened, woefully underfunded, and bady micromanaged by Cook County officials. Surprisingly, if you have trauma, this is probably the best place to be taken (or so say ER docs in the area).

Lincoln Park Hospital - this hospital drew miserable marks. The good news is this hospital closed in October of 2008 - raising the average quality of care in Chicago.

Of Note

It might be surprising not to see University of Chicago Hospital on the list of best city hospitals, given its large endowment and reputation through rankings like US News and World Report. The reason for this, though, is pretty clear. These hospital rankings look at primary care admissions, but the University of Chicago is not made to be a primary care hospital. They work to get high-paying, complex procedures, and have built a strategy that effectively eliminates primary care. As a result (and by their own admission) they do not want to take pneumonia or heart failure patients, and they are not optimally set up for this kind of patient. Add that to a long history of poor customer service (1st time patients return less than 20% of the time, compared to 60-70% for Northwestern), and they fall toward the middle of the pack - with a mediocre rating for the University of Chicago Hospitals.

How to use the Hospital Rankings tool: Hospitals around your zip code are shown on the map. The color of a hospital's marker shows how it performed on benchmarks set out by the US Department of Health and Human Services in four categories: Heart Attack, Heart Failure, Pneumonia, and Surgical Care Improvement/Surgical Infection Prevention.

Hospital ratings are based on an algorithm that combines information from a variety of hospital quality measures collected by the US federal government. These hospital rankings use information gathered about frequent types of primary care admissions, rather than tertiary or specialty care admissions. Because the hospital ratings represent data collected on common diagnoses for hospital admissions, they may not reflect the actual quality of a hospital for many reasons. For example, some hospitals may treat a high proportion of nursing home patients, and some of the data points might therefore not be relevant (for example, if a large fraction of patients enter the hospital on a ventilator they are unlikely to be given "stop smoking" counselling at discharge). Other reasons for a mismatch might include patient demographics, tertiary care expertise and type of hospital.

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Neither hospital locations nor the accuracy of the rankings/data shown is guaranteed, and there may be errors and/or omissions.

For more information please visit our Hospital Ranking FAQ

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