Study Confirms Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Among Nation’s Best in Quality of Care

Monday, April 03, 2006

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital ranks among the best hospitals in the nation in a study of quality of care that assessed treatment of heart attack, congestive heart failure and pneumonia.

The analysis identified Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital as the nation’s sixth best performer in clinical quality measures.

The study, commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund and reported in its publication “Quality Matters,” examined data collected by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from approximately 3,500 hospitals nationwide.

A related study of CMS data by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services found that New Jersey as a whole ranked first nationwide for delivering high-quality hospital care.

“New Jersey is now first in the nation and, of the thousands of hospitals in the United States, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital ranks sixth best in these important measures of quality of care,” said Clifton R. Lacy, MD, president and CEO of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.

CMS has been collecting information from U.S. hospitals as part of the Hospital Compare program. Designed to let consumers across the nation learn more about the quality of their area hospitals, Hospital Compare reports how well the nation’s hospitals adhere to nationally recognized standards of care in the treatment of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia and surgical infection prevention. This information is publicly available through a website,

The excellent results for New Jersey were especially gratifying for Dr. Lacy. Prior to becoming the hospital’s president and CEO, Dr. Lacy was commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Under his direction as commissioner, the department developed and produced New Jersey’s first public report on hospital performance, which ranked hospitals’ treatment of heart attack and pneumonia.

In the past, authoritative national recommendations on the care of patients derived from scientific studies were not being implemented. Research studies definitively demonstrated that lives would be saved if hospitals adhered to these widely accepted best practices, such as giving aspirin to heart attack patients and prompt antibiotic treatment to pneumonia patients. The results of scientific studies, however, were not being appropriately applied to the treatment of patients, Dr. Lacy said.

Dr. Lacy believed that public reporting of hospital-specific data would allow hospitals – and patients – to see how well institutions performed compared to others in the state.

“We believed that the public reporting of data would drive improvement in performance by doctors and hospitals, and this has proven true,” Dr. Lacy said. “The training of hospitals in ‘best practices’ and the release of the New Jersey Hospital Performance Report prompted change in clinical practice in our state, to the point where New Jersey is now best in the nation in the appropriate use of therapies that save lives and improve quality of life.”

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital’s sixth best in the nation ranking is one of a number of recent awards and recognitions that have highlighted the hospital’s status as one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers.

Consumers Digest magazine last year ranked RWJUH among the top five hospitals in the nation for patient safety initiatives. RWJUH also had more top-rated physicians than any hospital in New Jersey listed in the New York magazine and New Jersey Monthly 2005 “Best Doctors” issues. In addition, RWJUH was the fourth hospital in the nation to win the Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence three times.

About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 600-bed academic medical center and the principal hospital of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J.

RWJUH is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care, from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation; cancer care; and women’s and children’s care, including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (

The hospital is a Level I Trauma Center and serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.

RWJUH has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety. It ranks among “America’s Best Hospitals,” according to U.S.News & World Report’s 2012 survey; it is the sixth consecutive year that RWJUH has achieved this prestigious ranking. Also in 2012, U.S.News & World Report ranked BMSCH among the nation’s “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH among the nation's best comprehensive cancer centers. The Leapfrog Group rated RWJUH among the 50 exceptional U.S. hospitals, as published in Consumers Digest, and has given the hospital an “A” grade for safety and quality. Harvard University researchers, in a study commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund, identified RWJUH as one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation for clinical quality. RWJUH is a four-time recipient of the prestigious Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence

Attention members of the media: For more information on this release, please contact the Department of Public Relations (732) 937-8521.


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