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Fairview University Hospital: First Do No Harm, Then Tell No Outright Lies


Pushing the Envelope on Taste and Truthiness

I have previously posted on the tasteless infomercial on the FUMC webste: "You'll never wonder if you could have done more."

I was wondering how the spin doctors at Fairview University Hospital would handle the latest disaster that is the Best Hospitals in America ranking of 2008. How can we make it look good without having to admit that further erosion has occurred? Spin doctors are apparently a lot less expensive than real doctors, at least in the short run.

For the time course of these rankings since 2005, please see:

University of Minnesota Hospital Rankings in US News Best Hospitals (2005-2008)

From the Fairview-University Website:

University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview earns top marks in annual U.S. News survey

Medical center ranks among nation's best in 10 specialties

MINNEAPOLIS (July 11, 2008)--University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview joined an elite group of hospitals named among the nation's best in 2008 by U.S. News & World Report.

The medical center ranked among the country's top 50 hospitals in 10 medical specialties, according to the publication's latest edition of "America's Best Hospitals" which hits newsstands July 14.

"It's really a well-deserved honor for our talented staff and clinical partners from the University of Minnesota and the community who continually find better ways to provide exceptional, patient-centered care," said Gordon Alexander, M.D., president of University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview.

cancer, 27

down from last year's 24

digestive disorders, 33

down from last years 22

ears, nose and throat, 24

up from last year's 27

endocrinology, 23

down from last year's 20

gynecology, 39

down from last year's 29

heart and heart surgery, 29

up from last years 31

kidney disease, 17

the same

neurology and neurosurgery, 30

down from last year's 20

respiratory disorders, 45

down from being 29 last year

urology, 30

up from being unranked last year

Some of the medical center's rankings improved over last year's report. For instance, it was ranked 24th in ear, nose and throat (ENT), up from 27th in 2007. In heart and heart surgery, the medical center's ranking improved from 31st to 29th.

And as can be seen above, some of the center's ratings got worse. More of them, in fact. Of the ten we are ranked in six went down, one stayed the same, and three went up. And this sweeps under the rug chronic problems such as orthopedics where we were ranked 21 in '05 and have fallen off the table to being unranked. Meanwhile St. Cloud Hospital is ranked 35 and Abbot 37. The same has happened in geriatrics where we were 26 in '05 and have fallen off the table, too. Detailed inspection of the trends is disturbing, psychiatry for another example.

Sorry, I don't buy the headline of this piece on the Fairview-U Website: "University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview earns top marks in annual U.S. News survey." If you want to see what top marks are, then look at Mayo's rankings. Of the sixteen specialties the worst they do is better than our best and they've got geriatrics (7), orthopedics (2) and psychiatry (8) well covered.

p.s. There is a picture of Dr. Ann Taylor on the Fairview-U site. In fact she left the U to go to Columbia University. Sometimes it takes years before all traces of departed colleagues are removed.


Click this link to see whether Dr. Taylor is still on the FUMC site

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