Evansville Courier & Press staff writer

Deaconess Hospital is ranked among the 205 top medical centers in the country, according to a survey by U.S. News & World Report.

Deaconess is included in the 13th annual edition of "American's Best Hospitals," a survey published in the magazine's July 22 issue.

The hospital is ranked 45th out of 50 hospitals for the treatment of hormonal disorders, ahead of the University of Cincinnati Hospital in Cincinnati and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix.

U.S. News & World Report surveyed 6,045 hospitals and ranked the top 205 hospitals in 17 specialties, including cancer, heart and heart surgery, kidney disease and hormonal diseases.

The 205 hospitals selected excel "partly because their doctors perform large numbers of tricky and risky procedures," according to the magazine.

"Ranked hospitals tend to adhere more closely to advanced treatment guidelines, to incorporate new findings into patient care, and to conduct research that gives desperately ill patients more options," the magazine said.

The hospitals received a score with equal weight given for reputation, mortality and care-related factors such as nursing. Hospital reputation was determined by 180 board-certified physicians selected at random, who were asked to list the top five hospitals in their speciality regardless of where the hospital is located or the cost.

Deaconess President Linda White said the hospital is extremely pleased to be recognized as one of the best hospitals in America. "It's a recognition of how important and how special the physicians and staff are at Deaconess. They work hard, day and night, to provide superb care for our patients," White said. "The awards are wonderful for reminding the staff and our community that we are keeping our patients as the focus of our attention."

Clarian Health in Indianapolis, which includes Methodist Hospital, Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children, was ranked among the top 50 clinical programs for cancer, digestive disorders, ear, nose and throat, gynecology, kidney disease, neurology and neurosurgery,orthopedics and urology.

Outstanding medical centers on the magazine's Best Hospitals Honor Roll include Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and Vanderbilt University Hospital and Clinic in Nashville, Tenn.

U.S. News & World Reports said the ranking should not be considered "the final word" on a hospital, but should be viewed as "a good place to start the search for the level of care you deserve when it is most needed."

© 2001 The E.W. Scripps Co.