Mercury Awards to rank top of major city hospitals online

Salt Lake City 28 January 1999 Recently, two health care information pioneers in the media and on the Web, have introduced the Mercury Awards to identify and to rate the overall performance of top hospitals in metropolitan areas, and also to mark their scores in the three categories of cardiology, oncology and orthopaedics. America's Health Network (AHN) and the HCIA company have just released the results of two new studies relating to the major New York and Salt Lake City health care centres. The complete report of the hospital rankings can be freely consulted online at the AHN's Web site and will remain there for the rest of the year to provide the consumer with clear, decisive information on patient quality care.

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Recently, two health care information pioneers in the media and on the Web, have introduced the Mercury Awards to identify and to rate the overall performance of top hospitals in metropolitan areas, and also to mark their scores in the three categories of cardiology, oncology and orthopaedics. America's Health Network (AHN) and the HCIA company have just released the results of two new studies relating to the major New York and Salt Lake City health care centres. The complete report of the hospital rankings can be freely consulted online at the AHN's Web site and will remain there for the rest of the year to provide the consumer with clear, decisive information on patient quality care.

The name of the award has been inspired on Roman mythology. There, the caduceus is readily associated with the god Mercury as a symbol of precious value. The medical icon of a staff surmounted by two wings and entwined with two snakes is believed to have been carried by heralds and ambassadors as a badge of healing. Up till now, the Mercury Awards have been granted to the most outstanding health care facilities in the cities of Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, St. Louis, Washington DC and Los Angeles. The awards are sponsored by Zimmer, a renowned designer of orthopaedic implants as well as all of the related equipment and supplies.

In Salt Lake City, the LDS Hospital came out as the best overall performing facility and also was pronounced the winner in the orthopaedics category. In cardiology, the award went to the St. Mark's Hospital whereas the University of Utah Hospital presents the top in oncology. In New York City, first places in all categories were divided between two centres, namely Tisch Hospital as total care facility and in oncology and Beth Israel Medical Center in the fields of cardiology and orthopaedics. Tisch Hospital, a 767-bed teaching facility, specializes in cardiovascular services, neurosurgery, cancer treatment, AIDS, and reconstructive surgery and transplantation. The hospital has the lowest complications and mortality rates in New York City, as well as the strongest ability to draw patients from a distance.

Beth Israel Medical Center in turn is the largest provider of inpatient care in New York State. With 1129 beds, this facility claims the biggest share of the New York market while offering a wide breadth of services. As one of the two organizers of the Mercury Awards, HCIA constitutes a prominent health care information provider, whose analytical and implementation services are of great use to hospitals, integrated systems, pharmaceutical manufacturers and managed care institutions to improve market position, measure clinical outcomes and control the medical costs of populations. America's Health Network broadcasts a 24-hour health and medical programme via satellite or cable television and presents an interactive health news and information site on the Internet.


Leslie Versweyveld

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