In The News

Butler County hospitals move up in U.S. News ranking

July 15, 2014  |  West Chester Hospital
West Chester Hospital

Journal News


Two Butler County hospitals are among the state’s best for treating patients with the most life-threatening and rare conditions, according to a new national ranking of hospitals released today.

U.S. News & World Report’s 25th edition of Best Hospitals has placed West Chester Hospital and Fort Hamilton Hospital among the state’s and region’s top performers.

For 2014-15, U.S. News evaluated nearly 5,000 hospitals in 16 adult specialties — with just 3 percent of those hospitals earning a national ranking in a specialty.

The analysis is based mostly on death rates for patients who represent especially challenging cases, as well as marks for patient safety and other measures of performance that can be assessed using hard data. U.S. News also uses an annual reputational survey of physicians who are asked to name hospitals they consider the best in their specialty for difficult cases, according to U.S. News.

The UC Health-operated West Chester Hospital has ranked seventh in the Cincinnati metro area and 24th in Ohio.

Fort Hamilton Hospital, owned by Kettering Health, ranked eighth in the Cincinnati region and 29th in Ohio.

“This ranking is a distinct honor,” said Mark Smith, president of Fort Hamilton Hospital. “To be recognized as one of the best hospitals in the Cincinnati metro area and the state shows that residents in Hamilton do not need to travel far to receive quality care.”

The 12 data-dependent specialties are cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; ear, nose and throat; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; geriatrics; gynecology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology, and urology.

The four reputation-only specialties are ophthalmology, psychiatry, rehabilitation and rheumatology.

“U.S. News strives to provide patients and their families with the most comprehensive data available on hospitals,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News health rankings editor. “With an estimated 400,000 deaths occurring in hospitals each year from medical errors, measuring safety performance is critical to understanding how well a hospital cares for its patients.”

Hospitals not nationally ranked in a specialty but with scores in the top 25 percent of the analyzed centers are recognized as high performing.

Fort Hamilton Hospital was recognized as high performing in the areas of neurology and neurosurgery and pulmonology.

West Chester Hospital received high-performing marks in gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, geriatrics, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

Dr. Kevin Joseph, president and chief executive officer at West Chester Hospital, said the five-year-old hospital moved up two spots this year, from 26th in the region last year to now 24th.

“We always focus on quality, safety and service, that’s not changed,” Joseph said, but the hospital has added service lines of bariatric surgery, a trauma center and surgical intensive care unit. “It’s nice to get this validation of excellent care.”

Joseph said the ranking from U.S. News is just “one tool in the toolbox” for community members to use in making their health care decisions. Other rankings are published annually by groups including The Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades.

“Health care overall is becoming more transparent with data,” Joseph said.

Other regional hospitals that made top marks include: TriHealth’s Bethesda North Hospital (third in Ohio) and Good Samaritan Hospital (seventh in Ohio); The Christ Hospital (eighth in Ohio); and University of Cincinnati Medical Center (tied for eighth in Ohio).

The rankings are available online at

U.S. News & World Report, Best Hospitals 2014-15

Cincinnati Metro Area Rankings

1) Bethesda North Hospital, TriHealth

2) Good Samaritan Hospital, TriHealth

3) Christ Hospital, Christ Hospital Health Network

4) University of Cincinnati Medical Center, UC Health

5) St. Elizabeth Edgewood, Edgewood, Ky., St. Elizabeth Healthcare

6) Jewish Hospital Mercy, Mercy Health

7) West Chester Hospital, UC Health

8) Fort Hamilton Hospital, Kettering Health

9) St. Elizabeth Florence, Florence, Ky., St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Source: U.S. News & World Report, July 15, 2014