Boston Top Doctors: Community Hospitals

NORTH

Lahey Clinic
Burlington
Beds  | 317
Specialties  | Surgery, urology, transplants, oncology, interventional pulmonology

Though Lahey ditched its Kenmore Square digs in the 1970s, it remains as clinically rigorous as any Boston teaching hospital. It’s a surgical powerhouse, meeting care standards at a rate that puts it in the top 10 percent of hospitals nationally. The facility is the world leader in living-donor liver transplants, a process it helped pioneer in 1999. The urology practice, led by John Libertino, is internationally known for its ability to deal with complex prostate and kidney cancers. In state-of-the-art operating suites, delicate procedures (on ureters, throats, ears, et cetera) are performed via robot-assisted laparoscopy, which minimizes downtime. Not one to rest on its technical laurels, Lahey continues to put resources into maintaining a scalpel’s edge over the competition: A major expansion in 2006 added five ORs and a dedicated surgical ICU. A whopping 24 isolation rooms prevent airborne infections among staffers, visitors, and patients who are infectious or vulnerable themselves. Annually, Lahey employees meet with staffers from Mayo, Cleveland, and other world-renowned clinics to share best practices. In recent years, they’ve worked to balance technical prowess with a softer side, including bedside visits before discharge to schedule follow-up care, and “patient-centric” office hours (meaning docs can be seen nights and early mornings).

Winchester Hospital
Winchester
Beds  | 229
Specialties  | Women’s health (including maternity), pediatrics, surgery and cardiology

Chimes sound throughout Winchester Hospital whenever a baby is born — close to 2,000 times per year. And whether it takes two good pushes or hours, each mom has a nurse dedicated to her throughout active labor. Not only does the hospital believe excellent bedside care is imperative, it was also the second Massachusetts hospital (right behind MGH) to achieve Magnet status, a rigorous, multiyear certification that only about 6 percent of hospitals earn nationwide. A number of studies have linked quality nursing to better health outcomes, but beyond data, it means that nearly 500 people show up for Winchester’s NICU reunion every year. “The hospital values its nurses. They seek our input and value our research and ideas,” says nurse Sheryl Smith, who works in labor and delivery. As an example, based on research on ventilator-associated pneumonia, Winchester nurses instituted new oral-care protocols for ICU patients, which cut the hospital’s rate of that deadly infection to zero year-to-date. (Nationally, there are 300,000 cases per year. ) In summer 2011 the hospital will open a new cancer center, and plans to roll out a new day surgery center in early 2012.

  • Ronald

    Really?? North of Boston is Lahey and Winchester?? Lahey I might go along with… but what about North Shore Medical Center and Beverly Hospital. Both top notch places that were left off you list.