HOUSTON (October 30, 2008)

The University Health System Consortium (UHC), a national alliance of over 200 academic medical centers and affiliated hospitals, has ranked the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center as sixth in the nation on its annual list of top-performing academic hospitals based on quality outcomes and patient safety.

Memorial Hermann-TMC is the primary private teaching hospital for The University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Together, the institutions focus on advancing medicine through teaching, research and patient care. This relationship gives hospital patients access to more than 700 academically-affiliated physicians, representing more than 80 specialties.

"We are very excited about this prestigious designation," says Juanita Romans, chief executive officer of the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. "Our progress has been truly remarkable and we are so proud to see our quality outcomes recognized on a national level. This year's number six ranking reflects the commitment of our employees, physicians and leaders at both institutions to providing exceptional outcomes for those we treat."

The UHC generates the listing based on data collected annually across several categories, which include: mortality, effectiveness of care, core measures, safety and patient centeredness. Over the past three years, the hospital has made marked progress in the national listing, moving from the 31st ranking two years ago, to number 16 last year, and now to number six.

Some of the improvements made include specific interventions to improve patient recovery such as the addition of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) and Blood Stream Infection (BSI) bundles, as well as the introduction of the new Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP), which focuses on choosing the right antibiotic at the right time for surgical patients to reduce post-operative complications. Special attention was also placed on compliance with treatment guidelines for heart attack, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.

"The UT Medical School at Houston has worked in collaboration with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center to improve quality outcomes and patient safety. I applaud our outstanding physicians for their invaluable contribution to this success," said Giuseppe Colasurdo, M.D., dean of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and physician-in-chief at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital.

For more information on UHC rankings, please visit www.uhc.edu.