UF Health Shands Hospital, Geriatrics, Among Nation’s Best

University of Florida Health Shands Hospital is now tied for top adult hospital in Florida, according to the 2016-2017 U.S. News & World Report adult specialty rankings of the nation’s hospitals — and the rankings also include recognition of the geriatrics specialty at UF Health. Geriatric medicine at UF Health was recognized at 33 out of 50 during this year’s rankings, which were released Tuesday.

Lottenberg and Soleberg

“These rankings reflect our unwavering dedication to providing high-quality care for our patients, and our focus on continually evolving our standard of care,” said David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “Our continued rise in the rankings validates the work that our physicians, nurses and staff do every day.”

U.S. News & World Report assessed 16 adult medical specialties ranging from cancer to urology in approximately 5,000 hospitals across the country.

Marco Pahor, M.D., director of the UF Institute on Aging and chair of the department of aging and geriatric research, said the IOA is continually focused on providing comprehensive care for older adults through UF Health Senior Care and through the research of the science of aging.

“This recognition of our program reflects the hard work our geriatricians and aging researchers do every day,” Pahor said. “We are pleased that the U.S. News & World Report has recognized our dedication to the specific health issues older adults face.”

Nearly 2 million hospital inpatients a year face surgery or special care that pose unusual technical challenges or significantly increased risk of death or harm because of age, physical condition or existing conditions. The U.S. News & World Report rankings provide a tool to help these patients find especially skilled inpatient care.

Each hospital in the 12 data-driven rankings received an overall score from 0 to 100 that was based on four elements: reputation, patient survival, patient safety and care-related factors such as the amount of nurse staffing and the breadth of patient services. The hospitals with the 50 highest scores in each specialty were ranked.

“As ever, it is UF Health’s goal to develop a health care system centered around our patients’ needs,” said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the UF College of Medicine. “Our faculty and staff’s attention to providing positive outcomes for our patients is reflected in these rankings.”

Laurence Solberg, M.D., chief of the division of geriatric medicine within the department of aging and geriatric research, has worked to expand the geriatric medicine program at the UF Health Shands Hospital since his arrival to the institution in 2013. At that time, he established a geriatrics consult service with a novel model of care he called “the embedded geriatrician.”

These geriatricians meet with older adults as soon as they come through the hospital doors to help develop their plan of care.

“The idea was to assist with the management of older trauma patients. Then we expanded the concept of the embedded geriatrician consult service to include other hospital services, partnering with the hospitalist service of physicians who provide inpatient care to patients with chronic illness or health problems,” Solberg said.

The division of geriatric medicine has also recently expanded into community skilled nursing facilities, allowing UF Health Senior Care to provide a continuity of care from the hospital, to the rehabilitation center, and then to home with follow up visits at the Senior Care clinic.

“We are continually working to adapt the way we care for older patients to meet their specific needs,” Solberg said.

This year’s UF Health ranked specialties are as follows: nephrology, (tied for 11th), neurology and neurosurgery (21st), pulmonology (25th), gynecology (29th), geriatrics (33rd), urology (42nd), diabetes and endocrinology (tied for 48th) and cancer (49th).

The new hospital rankings and methodology are available at http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals.