The annual U.S. News & World Report issued a list of "America's Best Hospitals" on July 27th 1998. The highest rated medical facilities all appear to be customers of VTEL Corporation, a renowned developer and manufacturer of Digital Visual Communications technology. The top three is formed by the Duke University Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Cleveland Clinic. These three hospitals all use telemedicine applications to offer the patient a better quality of care.
In fourteen out of sixteen specialities, Duke University Medical Center holds a superior ranking, whereas Massachusetts General Hospital performs consistent top ten results in twelve specialities. In psychiatry, this clinic obtains the number one position. In turn, Cleveland Clinic finds itself to be the first and the best in cardiology and cardiac surgery, while the hospital still scores among the fifteen best in eight other specialities.
VTEL president and chief operating officer Jerry S. Benson Jr. states that all of these three leaders in health care have integrated VTEL's Digital Visual Communications technology into their hospital system, in order to support telemedicine applications. Up till now, VTEL has installed more than 1500 microcomputer based telemedicine sites in health care facilities of no less than 25 countries all over the world. This is more than the rest of the Digital Visual Communications vendors together. In the United States alone, 47 states currently run VTEL systems.
The major advantages of VTEL's innovative solutions are that the systems provide superior video, data and voice quality while being scalable, readily upgradeable, user-friendly and highly suited for networking at the same time. The U.S. News & World Report has based the best hospital rankings on an annual survey of 150 board-certified physicians in sixteen specialities. The doctors surveyed have been randomly picked out of the American Medical Association database, which stores 650.000 individuals.
Other well performing hospitals in the list, which rely on VTEL's products, include the University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston; the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; Baylor University Medical Center; the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville; New York University Medical Center; Children's Hospital in Boston; Children's Hospital in Denver; and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. An account on the merits of the Digital Visual Communications technology can be read in the VMW article Conference attendants take part in remote interactive cardiac procedure.