Consumer Reports rated 2,463 hospitals in a surgery ratings survey. The ratings looked at high-volume hospitals in each state and area based on the percentage of surgery patients who died in the hospital or stayed longer than expected.
The data is from Medicare claims from 2009-2011 for patients undergoing 27 categories of common scheduled surgeries. The analysis covered 27 kinds of common surgeries, including hip and knee replacement, back surgery and surgery to clear blocked arteries.
On the list: Enloe Medical Center in Chico, Calif. It is one of the highest rated hospitals. Administrators say its attention to detail has led to dramatic improvements in recent years.
"Our patients are having fewer infections, and they're having a better experience, "says Dr. Marcia Nelson of Enloe Medical Center.
Consumer Reports hopes its ratings will motivate hospitals to set high standards and empower patients.
"We know the ratings aren't a perfect measurement, but we think they're an important first step in giving patients the information they need to make an informed choice," says Dr. John Santa of Consumer Reports.
The entire survey is available at Consumer Reports.
2 Wants To Know looked to see which N.C. hospitals were listed. There were a total of 21 in the state - three in the Triad.
Forsyth Medical and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center earned fair rankings.
Cone Health was in the worse category.
Here is the Cone Health statement on the Consumer Report findings:
"The U.S. News and World Report's Best Hospitals rankings released just a few weeks ago showed Cone Health to be the 5th best hospital in the state. According to the U.S. News rankings, which used Medicare data for 2009-2011, the same data used by Consumer Reports, Cone Health was high performing in nine specialty areas, including surgical specialties. Obviously we always take these types of rankings very seriously. However, in this case, we find it very curious that you can have two magazines, two surveys and two widely varying results. Because hospitals are such data rich organizations, the same data sifted with different statistical methodology can yield opposite results," said Mary Jo Cagle, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Cone Health.
The U.S. News rankings were based on 16 medical specialties and patient survival rates and structural resources such as nurse staffing levels. All the data was from the same period.