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Banner Health continues to earn awards -- ‘U.S. News & World Report’ and ‘Consumer Reports’ among honors


PHOENIX (July 17, 2012) – Banner Health continues to be a top-performing nonprofit health system and recognized among leading consumer and watchdog organizations based on clinical and operational excellence across many aspects of the patient care experience.

Most recently, seven Banner Health hospitals were named to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospital ranking. In Arizona, Banner Health had six hospitals ranked in the top 14 of all hospitals in the metro Phoenix area. In addition, Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix was named No. 1 in both metro Phoenix and in the state. North Colorado Medical Center, a Banner Health facility in Greeley, Colorado, was named fifth among all hospitals in the state.

U.S. News & World Report today released its annual Best Hospitals, the publication’s 23rd annual edition, which showcases more than 720 of the nation’s roughly 5,000 hospitals. Fewer than 150 are nationally ranked in at least one of 16 medical specialties.

Specifically, Banner Health facilities ranked as Best Hospitals include:

  • Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center: Ranked No. 1 in Arizona and metro Phoenix and recognized nationally for specialty excellence in four categories. The facility was also ranked “high-performing” in eight specialties and ranked nationally for its cardiology and heart surgery (No. 36), diabetes and endocrinology (No. 36), geriatrics (No. 31) and nephrology (No. 47).
  • North Colorado Medical Center: Ranked No. 5 in Colorado and recognized among the Best Hospitals in northeastern Colorado. NCMC was also ranked high-performing in eight specialties.
  • Banner Thunderbird Medical Center: Ranked No. 5 in metro Phoenix and high-performing in eight specialties.
  • Banner Desert Medical Center: Ranked No. 7 in Arizona and high-performing in seven specialties.
  • Banner Estrella Medical Center: Ranked No. 7 in Arizona (tied with Banner Desert) and high-performing in seven specialties.
  • Banner Gateway Medical Center: Ranked No. 14 in Arizona and recognized for high-performance in urology.
  • Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center: Ranked No. 14 (tied with Banner Gateway) in Arizona and high-performing in gastroenterology.

The hospital rankings, said U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow, are like a GPS-type aid to help steer patients to hospitals with strong skills in the procedures and medical conditions that present the biggest challenges. “All of these hospitals are the kinds of medical centers that should be on your list when you need the best care,” said Comarow. “They are where other hospitals send the toughest cases.”

“We are proud to have Banner Good Samaritan ranked No.1 and six other Banner Health hospitals ranked in the top echelon of the U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Hospitals in Phoenix.’ We are pleased to be recognized as the leading provider in the communities we serve,” said Banner Health President and CEO Peter S. Fine.

The complete rankings and methodology from U.S. News are available at

Consumer Reports safety ratings
In its August issue, Consumer Reports released the publication’s first-ever hospital safety rating using the most current data from 1,159 hospitals in 44 states. Only 18 percent of U.S. hospitals, including Banner Health hospitals, provided data and participated in the voluntary study which focused on six categories in its safety ratings: infections, readmissions, communication about medications and discharge instructions, repeat CT scanning, complications and mortality.

In Arizona, Consumer Reports ranked both Banner Gateway in Gilbert and Banner Baywood in Mesa as the second safest hospitals in the state. The Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix was ranked the safest hospital in Arizona. Six other Banner hospitals – Banner Boswell, Banner Thunderbird, Banner Desert, Banner Estrella, Banner Good Samaritan and Banner Del E. Webb – were found to have mortality rates that outperformed the national average.

In Colorado, the publication found North Colorado Medical Center has the second best safety rating in the state and joined McKee Medical Center in Loveland, another Banner facility, in having mortality rates better than the national average.

“We take patient safety very seriously in each of our 23 hospitals,” said John Hensing, executive vice president and chief medical officer for Banner Health. “We use benchmarking, externally derived evidence-based medicine and our own internal performance information we call ‘practice-based evidence’ to set standards for continuous learning and improvement.”
Banner Health: Most Wired
Banner Health has also been recognized as one of the nation’s “Most Wired” health systems, according to the results of the 2012 Most Wired Survey released in the July issue of Hospitals & Health Networks magazine. There is no specific ranking in this survey.

This is the 14th year that H&HN has named the Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems based on the Most Wired Survey. The 2012 survey results build on the analytic structure that was implemented in 2010 after two years of redesign. The methodology sets specific requirements in each of four focus areas: infrastructure, business and administrative management, clinical quality/safety and clinical integration.

This year, 662 hospitals and health systems completed the survey, representing 1,570 hospitals, roughly 27 percent of all U.S. hospitals. Even with additional requirements, the number of hospitals and health systems designated as Most Wired increased to 215 organizations from 154 in 2011.

“As shown by these survey results, hospitals continue to demonstrate how IT not only can be used to improve patient care and safety but it is also a means to improve efficiency,” says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the AHA.

These recent awards add to Banner Health being named one of the Top Five Large Health Systems in the U.S. by Thomson Reuters in 2012.
About Banner Health
Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system owns or manages 23 acute-care hospitals, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including physician clinics and home care and hospice services. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is a multi-platform publisher of news and analysis, which includes the digital-only U.S. News Weekly magazine,, and Focusing on Health, Personal Finance, Education, Travel, Cars, and Public Service/Opinion, U.S. News has earned a reputation as the leading provider of service news and information that improves the quality of life of its readers. U.S. News & World Report’s signature franchise includes its News You Can Use® brand of journalism and its annual "Best" series of consumer web guides and publications that include rankings of colleges, graduate schools, hospitals, mutual funds, health plans, and more.

CONTACTS: Bill Byron
 (602) 747-4702
 Jennifer Ruble
 (602) 747-3105  

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