U.S. News Ranks Greenville Memorial as #1 in metro area and in national top 40 for diabetes care
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

For the third straight year, Greenville Memorial Hospital has been ranked as having one of the nation’s top 40 diabetes/endocrinology programs. Under a new metro ranking, GMH has also been ranked as #1 in the Greenville, Mauldin, Easley metro area, according to U.S. News Media & World Report’s 2011-12 Best Hospitals rankings released today.

Greenville Memorial also ranked as high performing in cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, gastroenterology, geriatrics, gynecology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology and urology.

The rankings, annually published by U.S. News for the past 22 years, will also be featured in the U.S. News Best Hospitals guidebook, which will go on sale August 30. The rankings are also available online at


The latest rankings showcase 720 hospitals out of about 5,000 hospitals nationwide. Each is ranked among the country’s top hospitals in at least one medical specialty and/or ranked among the best hospitals in its metro area.


“We are delighted to be recognized for the third year running among the very best hospitals across the country,” said Michael Riordan, president and chief executive officer of Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center. “Residents of the Upstate region and beyond who need highly specialized treatment and care have an exceptional local resource in Greenville Memorial Hospital.  I congratulate our diabetes/endocrinology program and the nine other high performing specialty programs.”


Improved diabetes care, outcomes and outreach is a priority goal at GHS because of the wide-ranging impact of diabetes in our community. Even CEO Riordan has it as a goal on his yearly evaluation, with the same goal cascading to others in the system. The end result is an integrated cohesive approach that has all the oars pulling in the same direction for maximum effectiveness and improved patient care.


The diabetes/endocrinology program, ranked #36, has developed and implemented best-practices protocols to help ensure that patients receive safe diabetes management while hospitalized. Diabetes is at epidemic levels in the Upstate, and more than 20 percent of adult patients admitted to GMH have diabetes. Poorly managed blood sugar levels can lead to complications, including surgical-site infections and slower healing.


“It’s been a huge interdisciplinary effort that’s really paid off for our patients,” said Dr. John Bruch, medical director over diabetes services at GHS. The team effort pulled expertise from diabetes educators, physicians, pharmacists, nurses and lab personnel.


The core mission of Best Hospitals is to help guide patients who need an especially high level of care because of a difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age. “These are referral centers where other hospitals send their sickest patients,” said Avery Comarow, U.S. News Health Rankings Editor. “Hospitals like these are ones you or those close to you should consider when the stakes are high.”


Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions. The regional rankings are aimed primarily at consumers whose care may not demand the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospital or who may not be willing or able to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their community and in their health insurance network.


“These are hospitals we call ‘high performers.’ They are fully capable of giving most patients first-rate care, even if they have serious conditions or need demanding procedures,” Comarow said. “Almost every major metro area has at least one of these hospitals.”


Hard numbers stand behind the rankings in most specialties—death rates, patient safety, procedure volume, and other objective data. Responses to a national survey, in which physicians were asked to name hospitals they consider best in their specialty for the toughest cases, also were factored in.


The rankings cover 16 medical specialties and all 94 metro areas that have at least 500,000 residents and at least one hospital that performed well enough to be ranked.