By Josette Keelor
For the second year in a row, Winchester Medical Center has ranked in the top five best Virginia hospitals on a list published by the U.S. News and World Report, according to hospital officials.
Of the 129 Virginia hospitals outlined in the report, Winchester Medical Center is listed No. 5 after Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital.
The University of Virginia Medical Center came in seventh among high-performing hospitals and Inova Alexandria Hospital tied for eighth with Centra Lynchburg General Hospital.
The report gives a global look at each hospital's rapid response team, according to Dr. Jeffrey "Jeff" Lessar, a physician with Winchester Pulmonary and Internal Medicine who is also medical staff president at the hospital.
It judges "patient satisfaction, quality and what you can offer your community," he said.
"I think it's an honor and it shows the great amount of work that we do here," he said. "It took a lot of hard work from a lot of different people."
According to the website health.usnews.com, the rankings provide a tool for helping patients facing surgeries or other high-risk procedures find unusually skilled inpatient care.
The online news site's 2014-15 Best Hospital Rankings consider nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide, but only about 15 percent of hospitals are recognized for their high performance, according to a news release from the hospital.
Grady W. "Skip" Philips, senior vice president for Valley Health and chief operating officer for Winchester Medical Center, said the designation recognizes the "reputation of the great teamwork and collaboration that occurs here everyday."
The rankings studied hospital performance in 16 specialties, 12 of which earned a score based on data in the categories of outcomes, structure, process and patient safety, the release states.
Winchester was rated "high performing" in nine specialties: cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, geriatrics, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.
Philips said orthopedics was new this year to Winchester's list of high-performing specialties, replacing last year's ranking on ear, nose and throat care.
In 2012, Winchester ranked sixth on the list.
To view the full list, visit health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/area/va.
Contact staff writer Josette Keelor at 540-465-5137, ext. 176, or firstname.lastname@example.org