By Megan Donovan, St. Luke's Hospital

St. Luke's Hospital is the only hospital in St. Louis to be named one of America's 50 Best Hospitals in 2013 by Healthgrades. This is the seventh year in a row ( 2007 - 2013) that St. Luke's has achieved  this designation, and St. Luke's is the only hospital in St. Louis to be named one of America's best hospitals since the inception of the list.

As one of America's 50 Best Hospitals, St. Luke's ranks among the top one percent of hospitals in the nation for clinical excellence based on survival and complication rates. According to Healthgrades, patients admitted to a listed hospital are more likely to have successful treatment without major complications. For example, out of all the St. Louis hospitals that Healthgrades evaluated for the treatment of a heart attack, St. Luke's is among the best with the highest survival rates.

"Providing the highest quality of care to our patients is our focus for each day," said Jan Hess, St. Luke's Hospital vice president. "Achieving the designation as one of America's 50 Best Hospitals is a result of the entire hospital team working together to fulfill our mission to improve the quality of life for all of our patients."

Healthgrades is an independent healthcare ratings organization that annually rates each of the nation's nearly 4,500 non-government hospitals that treat Medicare patients. Hospitals cannot opt of this analysis, and no hospital pays to be evaluated.

To determine America's 50 Best Hospitals, Healthgrades analyzed millions of Medicare patient records from 2005 through 2011 for 27 common medical procedures and conditions, from the treatment of heart attack to knee replacement surgery. The data is risk adjusted, which takes into account differing levels of severity of patient illness at different hospitals and allows for hospitals to be compared. 

According to another 2013 Healthgrades report, St. Luke's Hospital is ranked best in the St. Louis region for overall cardiac services and cardiac surgery. Healthgrades also named St. Luke's NO. 1 in Missouri for neurosurgery, neurosciences (neurosurgery and stroke treatment combined), overall pulmonary services, critical care and gastrointestinal medical treatment in 2013.

St. Luke's is also a recipient of the Healthgrades Emergency Medicine Excellence Award (2011 and 2012), Pulmonary Care Excellence Award (2005 -2012), Women's Health Excellence Award (2009 -2012) and Outstanding Patience Experience Award (2012)