2019 Best Hospitals: No. 9 (tie) UNC Hospitals, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
(tie) UNC Hospitals
Beds: 929 | 2018 rank: 15 | President: Gary Park
UNC Hospitals broke ground in September on a seven-story, 335,000-square-foot surgical tower, expected to be complete in 2022. The $290 million structure will allow for the replacement of operating rooms that were constructed in 1952. UNC earned high marks for patient satisfaction and low rates of common hospital-acquired infections.
Challenge: Factors that pressed UNC officials to seek a collaboration with Atrium Health remain in place. Wesley Burks has succeeded merger advocate Bill Roper as the system’s CEO.
(tie) Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Beds: 885 | 2018 rank: 9 |
CEO: Julie Ann Freischlag
Wake Forest’s acquisition of High Point Regional Health didn’t slow plans for growth at its main campus: In July, the medical center said it would renovate two floors, establish a general acute-care unit with 30 licensed beds and expand the neonatal intensive care unit. The hospital is nationally ranked by U.S. News in seven specialties, including No. 19 in cancer care.
Challenge: The system’s growth potential remains in question with Cone, Duke and UNC Health Care to the east, Atrium and Novant to the south, and HCA/Mission to the west. A history of fairly benign competition with Novant could be fraying, reflected in Wake Forest’s re-entry into the delivery of low-risk pregnancies on its main campus.
METHODOLOGY: Business North Carolina’s 2019 Best Hospitals list is calculated by the hospitals’ performance in 25 metrics, including information provided by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. We examine patient-satisfaction surveys, rates of commonly acquired hospital infections, and readmission and death rates for common procedures. Also considered are safety report cards from The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, and ratings from insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield and U.S. News & World Report. We rank the state’s adult, acute-care medical centers with at least 50 beds, excluding specialty and psychiatric hospitals.