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U.S. News and World Report releases 2013 "Best Hospitals" list

Eighteen hospitals have made the 2013 U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll.

The magazine's annual Best Hospitals list ranks about 5,000 medical centers and 16 medical specialties across the country. Establishments that place near the top in at least six specialties make it on the Honor Roll.

"Every year, as many as 2 million hospital patients face surgery or care that is technically challenging or a risk of death or harm that is multiplied because of age, physical condition or infirmities," U.S. News and World Report wrote. "The rankings provide such patients with a tool to help them find unusually skilled inpatient care."

Hospital were rated on their performance in areas including patient survival rates (32.5 percent of weighted score) and patient safety information (5 percent). Structural resources like the nurse staffing levels also factored into the scores (30 percent). In addition, the hospital's reputation was factored in (32.5 percent), determined by a survey of physician specialists.

CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook noted these rankings give hospitals "bragging rights." But he points out that people can get great care at other hospitals not on this list. LaPook is a physician at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, which was ranked as one of the top hospitals by U.S. News and World Report.

In the video above, LaPook says patients can do a lot themselves to ensure they're getting optimal care, no matter which hospital they end up in. He suggests writing down your medical history and any medications you're taking, and sharing the list with a trusted friend or family member in case of an emergency. He says it's also important to make sure all health care personnel who walk into an exam room wash their hands to avoid spreading infections.

This is the 24th year U.S. News and World Report has compiled its hospital rankings.

Johns Hopkins Hospitals is back in first place. Last year, Massachusetts General Hospital took the top spot, breaking Johns Hopkins' 21-year streak.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital moved up the greatest number of spots from 12th place last year to sixth place, while Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University in St. Louis dropped the most, from sixth place to 15th place.

Both Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York and University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor, Mich. are no longer on the Honor Roll, but they did still retain some top places in different specialties.

Only five metropolitan areas have more than one Honor Roll hospital. New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Cleveland all have more than one top-ranking establishment.

This year's Honor Roll hospitals are:

  • Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
  • Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago
  • New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, N.Y.
  • UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
  • UPMC-University of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
  • Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C.
  • Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles
  • NYU Langone Medical Center, New York
  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University, St. Louis
  • IU Health Academic Health Center, Indianapolis
  • Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia
  • University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Cleveland

In addition, 147 hospitals ranked in at least one specialty. Cleveland Clinic was the number one hospital for Cardiology and Heart Surgery, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston was the number one for cancer care.

Children's hospital were ranked in a different Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll, which specifically looked at 10 different pediatric specialties. Those results were released in June.