NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -- Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is among the best hospitals in New Jersey, according to a list published by U.S. News & World Report.

The annual rundown ranks the top medical centers in the country and each state. Analysts reviewed hospitals' performance in clinical specialties, procedures and conditions. They based each score on the survival rate, patient safety and nurse staffing, among other criteria. The rankings also looked at treatment of specialties and conditions, such as cancer and heart bypass surgery, hip and knee replacement and COPD.

Hackensack University Medical Center took the crown as New Jersey’s No. 1 hospital in the 2017-18 contest. A hospital in Morristown came in second.

Sign Up for E-News

Robert Wood Johnson, in New Brunswick, wasn't far behind. It earned the bronze medal, impressing monitors with its pediatric specialty and in seven other areas, according to the report.

Saint Peter's University Hospital, meanwhile, tied several other institutions for 13th place, according to the list.

"Covering nearly every hospital in every U.S. community, U.S. News offers deep, rich data that patients can use to help them make informed decisions about where to receive surgical or medical care," said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis for the magazine. "We know outcomes matter most, which is why U.S. News is committed to publishing as much data as possible on patient outcomes."

Nationally, U.S. News ranked the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota as the best hospital in the country.

The 2017-18 Best Hospitals Honor Roll (according to U.S. News)
1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
2. Cleveland Clinic
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
4. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
5. UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco
6. University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, Ann Arbor
7. Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
8. New York-Presbyterian Hospital, N.Y.
9. Stanford Health Care-Stanford Hospital, Stanford, Calif.
10. Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania-Penn Presbyterian, Philadelphia

U.S. News estimates that nearly 2 million hospital inpatients a year face the prospect of surgery or special care that poses either unusual technical challenges or significantly heightened risk of death or harm because of age, physical condition or existing conditions.

U.S. News says its rankings are “a tool that can help such patients find sources of especially skilled inpatient care” and that its methodologies in most areas of care are based largely on objective measures such as risk-adjusted survival and readmission rates, volume, patient experience, patient safety and quality of nursing, among other care-related indicators. For the 2017-18 report, U.S. News also examined:

  • Five years of Medicare data – covering more than 60 million hospitalizations – to calculate procedures and conditions ratings (as opposed to three years used in previous ratings).
  • Socioeconomic status and transfer patients. Hospitals treat patients of varying income levels, ages and health challenges. U.S. News says that it improved its measurements to avoid penalizing hospitals for treating low-income patients or for accepting high-risk cases transferred from other facilities.
  • Volume. The number of patients treated, which reflects a hospital's level of experience, is an important quality indicator in the rankings. This year, U.S. News refined how it measures volume to improve comparability among hospitals.