Link to original article from the CDC’s COVIDView

COVIDView: A Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity

This CDC report provides a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators being adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.  This includes information related to COVID-19 outpatient visits, emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as laboratory data.


Public health, commercial and clinical laboratories are all conducting testing and reporting testing results for COVID-19.  The national percentage of respiratory specimens testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 is increasing and is now:

  • 16.5% at public health laboratories and,
  • 8.8% at clinical laboratories.

Data from commercial laboratories will be incorporated into this report in the coming weeks.

Outpatient and Emergency Department Visits

Two indicators from existing surveillance systems are being monitored to track outpatient or emergency department (ED) visits for potential COVID-19 illness.

  • Nationally, the percentage of visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) and COVID-19-like illness (CLI) is elevated compared to what is normally seen at this time.

Recent changes in health care seeking behavior are likely impacting both networks, making it difficult to draw further conclusions at this time.  Tracking these systems moving forward will give additional insight into illness related to COVID-19.

Severe Disease

Cumulative COVID-19-associated hospitalization rates since March 1, 2020, will be updated weekly.  The overall cumulative hospitalization rate is 4.6 per 100,000, with the highest rates in persons 65 years and older (13.8 per 100,000) and 50-64 years (7.4 per 100,000).

The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza is 8.2% which is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%.  Deaths due to pneumonia have increased sharply since the end of February, while those due to influenza increased modestly through early March and declined this week. Deaths attributed specifically to COVID-19 will be reported next week.

Key Points
  • CDC is modifying existing surveillance systems, many used to track influenza and other respiratory viruses annually, to track COVID-19.
  • Visits to outpatient providers and emergency departments for illnesses with symptom presentation similar to COVID-19 are elevated compared to what is normally seen at this time of year.  At this time, there is little influenza virus circulation.
  • The overall cumulative COVID-19 associated hospitalization rate is 4.6 per 100,000, with the highest rates in persons 65 years and older (13.8 per 100,000) and 50-64 years (7.4 per 100,000). These rates are similar to what is seen at the beginning of an annual influenza epidemic.
  • The percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza increased to 8.2% and is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2%. The percent of deaths due to pneumonia has increased sharply since the end of February, while those due to influenza increased modestly through early March and declined this week. This could reflect an increase in deaths from pneumonia caused by non-influenza associated infections including COVID-19.
  • NCHS is monitoring deaths associated with COVID-19 and made those data publicly available on April 3, 2020.

U.S. Virologic Surveillance

The number of specimens tested for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and reported to CDC by public health laboratories and a subset of clinical and commercial laboratories in the United States are summarized below.  At this point in the outbreak, all laboratories are performing primary diagnostic functions, therefore the percentage of specimens testing positive across laboratory types can be used to monitor trends in COVID-19 activity. As the outbreak progresses, it is possible that different types of laboratories will take on different roles and the data interpretation may need to be modified.

U.S. Virologic Surveillance
Week 13 Cumulative since March 1, 2020
No. of specimens tested 75,852 193,431
     Public Health Laboratories 53,472 156,225
          Clinical Laboratories 22,380 37,206
No. of positive specimens 10,982 (14.5%) 22,601 (11.7%)

Public Health Laboratories

Public Health Laboratories

Clinical Laboratories

Clinical Laboratories

Outpatient/Emergency Department Illness

Two syndromic surveillance systems are being used to monitor trends in outpatient and emergency department visits that may be related to COVID-19.  Each system monitors a slightly different syndrome and together these systems provide a more comprehensive picture of mild to moderate COVID-19 illness than either would individually.  Both systems are currently being affected by recent changes in health care seeking behavior, including increasing use of telemedicine and recommendations to limit emergency department (ED) visits to severe illness, as well as increased social distancing. These changes affect the numbers of people and their reasons for seeking care in the outpatient and ED settings.


The U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet) provides data on visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) (fever [≥100F] and cough and/or sore throat) to approximately 2,600 primary care providers, emergency departments and urgent care centers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Mild COVID-19 illness presents with symptoms similar to ILI so ILINet is being used to track trends of mild COVID-19 illness and allows for comparison with prior influenza seasons.

Nationwide during week 13, 5.4% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to ILI. This percentage is above the national baseline of 2.4% but represents the first week of a decline after three weeks of increase beginning in early March.  The percent of visits for ILI decreased in children and adults but increased slightly for those 65 years of age and older.  Nationally, laboratory confirmed influenza activity as reported by clinical laboratories continues to decrease which, along with changes in healthcare seeking behavior and the impact of social distancing, is likely driving the decrease in ILI activity.

* Age-group specific percentages should not be compared to the national baseline.* Age-group specific percentages should not be compared to the national baseline.

On a regional level, the percentage of outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 3.7% to 12.2% during week 13; all regions reported a percentage of outpatient visits for ILI above their regions-specific baselines. Nine of the 10 surveillance regions reported a decrease in percentage of outpatient visits for ILI however region 2 (NY, NJ, PR) reported a slight increase.  National, regional and state level ILI data can be found on FluView Interactive.

ILI Activity Levels

Data collected in ILINet are used to produce a measure of ILI activity for all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and New York City. The mean reported percentage of visits due to ILI for the current week is compared to the mean reported during non-influenza weeks, and the activity levels correspond to the number of standard deviations below, at or above the mean.

The number of jurisdictions at each activity level during week 13 and the change compared to the previous week are summarized in the table below and shown in the following maps. The decreasing percentage of visits for ILI described above are reflected in this week’s ILI activity levels.

ILI Activity Levels
Activity Level Number of Jurisdictions
Week 13 Compared to Previous Week
Very High 15 -13
High 16 +6
Moderate 5 -3
Low 5 +2
Minimal 12 +8
Insufficient Data* 1 No change

The “very high” activity level was recently developed and will be reflected in other postings of the ILINet activity map when the map is updated on April 10, 2020.

Additional information about medically attended visits for ILI reported through ILINet:

Surveillance Methods | FluView Interactive: National, Regional, and State Data or ILI Activity Map

National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP): Emergency Department (ED) Visits

NSSP is a collaboration among CDC, federal partners, local and state health departments, and academic and private sector partners to collect, analyze, and share electronic patient encounter data received from multiple health care settings.  To track trends of potential COVID-19 visits, visits for COVID-19-like illness (CLI) (fever and cough or shortness of breath or difficulty breathing) and ILI to a subset of emergency departments in 47 states are being monitored.

Nationwide during week 13, 5.0% of emergency department visits captured in NSSP were due to CLI and 4.3% were due to ILI.  The percentage of visits for both CLI and ILI increased from weeks 10 through 12; however, during week 13 the percentage of visits for ILI declined slightly, while the percentage of visits for CLI continued to increase. The increase in the percentage of visits for CLI nationally is being driven by increasing CLI activity in 3 regions (regions 1, 2 and 6), while in the remaining regions, the percentage of visits to EDs for CLI declined (6 regions) or remained stable (1 region) during week 13 compared to week 12.  Region 2 is the only region that experienced an increase in the percentage of visits to EDs for ILI during week 13.



The COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) conducts population-based surveillance for laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations in select counties participating in the Emerging Infections Program (EIP) and Influenza Hospitalization Surveillance Project (IHSP) states. COVID-NET-estimated hospitalization rates will be updated weekly.

A total of 1,482 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizations were reported by COVID-NET sites between March 1, 2020 and March 28, 2020. The overall cumulative hospitalization rate was 4.6 per 100,000 population with the highest rates in those aged 65 years and older (13.8 per 100,000) followed by adults aged 50-64 years (7.4 per 100,000).

laboratory-confirmed COVID-19-associated hospitalizationsAdditional hospitalization surveillance information: COVID-Net Interactive

Mortality Surveillance

Based on National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) mortality surveillance data available on April 2, 2020, 8.2% of the deaths occurring during the week ending March 21, 2020 (week 12) were due to pneumonia and influenza (P&I). This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 7.2% for week 12.  The increase in P&I percentage is being driven primarily by an increase in pneumonia deaths (excluding deaths where influenza is also listed as a cause of death). The percentage of deaths due to pneumonia has increased sharply since the end of February, while those due to influenza increased at a more modest rate through early March and declined slightly during the week ending March 21.  This could reflect an increase in deaths from pneumonia caused by non-influenza associated infections including COVID-19.

NCHS is monitoring deaths associated with COVID-19. Those data will be summarized in this report starting next week, but a preliminary analysis indicates that approximately half of the deaths with COVID-19 listed as a cause of death also include pneumonia as a cause of death.  For this reason, in addition to the substantial decrease in influenza activity and the fact that the P&I epidemic threshold is driven by the percentage of pneumonia deaths occurring in the same time period during the past 5 years, comparisons of the P&I percentage to the epidemic threshold provides an indicator of pneumonia deaths in excess of what would otherwise be expected.

Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Mortality from the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System

Data through the week ending March 21, 2020, as of April 2, 2020

mortality-data nchs-mortality-reportAdditional NCHS mortality surveillance information:

Surveillance Methods for P&I Calculations   |  FluView Interactive for P&I data | Provisional Death Counts for COVID-19



HHS Publishes Final Regs

Both CMS and ONC have issued what they call “transformative” rules addressing 21st Century Cures data access requirements; they’ll impact providers, payers, vendors and patients.

By Mike Miliard

09:36 AM

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has finalized two long-awaited sets of rules that will govern how providers, payers and technology vendors must design their systems to give patients safe and secure access to their digital health data.

Issued Monday morning by both the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the rules fulfill the interoperability and information-blocking provisions of the landmark 21st Century Cures Act.

HHS calls the new rules – which hold public and private entities accountable for enabling easy electronic access to health information – the most extensive healthcare data-sharing policies yet implemented by the federal government.

“Patients should have control of their records, period,” said HHS Secretary Alex M. Azar in a statement. “These rules are the start of a new chapter in how patients experience American healthcare, opening up countless new opportunities for them to improve their own health, find the providers that meet their needs, and drive quality through greater coordination.”

Information blocking, USCDI

The ONC Final Rule establishes new regs to prevent information-blocking practices and anticompetitive behaviors by healthcare providers, developers of certified health IT products, health-information exchanges and other information networks. It also specifies the reasonable and necessary activities that do not constitute information blocking.

The rule updates certification requirements for health IT developers and establishes new provisions to ensure that providers using certified technologies have the ability to communicate about usability, user experience, interoperability and security – including (with limitations) the ability to document challenges using screenshots and video, which ONC says are critical forms of visual communication for describing such issues.

It also requires EHRs to provide the necessary clinical data to promote new business models of care – advancing this goal common through the U.S. Core Data for Interoperability, or USCDI, a standardized set of health data classes and elements that ONC says are essential for nationwide interoperability.

The final rule also has an array of requirements for standards-based application programming interfaces, with the goal support a patient’s access and control of their electronic health information. With its new API rules, patients will be empowered to more securely and easily obtain and use their electronic health information from their provider’s medical record for free, using the smartphone app of their choice, according to ONC.

“Delivering interoperability actually gives patients the ability to manage their healthcare the same way they manage their finances, travel and every other component of their lives,” said National Coordinator for Health IT Dr. Don Rucker, in a statement. “This requires using modern computing standards and APIs that give patients access to their health information and give them the ability to use the tools they want to shop for and coordinate their own care on their smartphones.

“A core part of the rule is patients’ control of their electronic health information which will drive a growing patient-facing healthcare IT economy,” he added, “and allow apps to provide patient-specific price and product transparency.”

Interoperability and patient access

As for the CMS Final Rule, it requires health plans in Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP and through the federal Exchanges to share claims data electronically with patients.

Beginning January 1, 2021, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, CHIP and, for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2021, plans on the federal Exchanges will be required to share claims and other health information with patients in a safe, secure, understandable, user-friendly electronic format through the Patient Access API.

That API will allow patients to access their data through any third party application they choose to connect to the API and could also be used to integrate a health plan’s information to a patient’s EHR.

In addition, the CMS final rule establishes a new Condition of Participation for all Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals, requiring them to send electronic notifications to another healthcare facility, community provider or practitioner when a patient is admitted, discharged or transferred.

CMS will also require states to send enrollee data daily, beginning April 1, 2022, for beneficiaries enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. The goal is to improve the coordination of care for this population and help ensure they’re getting access to appropriate services – and that these services are billed appropriately the first time. Beneficiaries will get the right services at the right time, at the right cost, with no administrative burden to rebill services.

“Unfortunately, data silos continue to fragment care, burden patients, and providers, and drive up costs through repeat tests,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a statement. “We are holding payers to a higher standard while protecting patient privacy through secure access to their health information. Patients can expect improved quality and better outcomes at a lower cost.”

Healthcare IT News will have much more coverage and industry reaction to these major new rules in the days and weeks ahead.

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer:

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

StaffFriday, April 12th, 2019 Print  | Email

  Link to Original Article in Becker’s Healthcare

Becker’s Healthcare is pleased to release the 2019 edition of its list of “100 great hospitals in America.”

The hospitals included on this list have been recognized nationally for excellence in clinical care, patient outcomes, and staff and physician satisfaction. These institutions are industry leaders that have achieved advanced accreditation and certification in several specialties. The list also includes industry innovators that have sparked trends in healthcare technology, hospital management and patient satisfaction.

Becker’s Healthcare selected the following hospitals for inclusion based on analysis of ranking and award agencies, including U.S. News & World Report‘s 2018-19 rankings, CareChex, Healthgrades, CMS star ratings, Leapfrog grades and IBM Watson Health top hospitals. Becker’s also sought nominations for this list.

Contact Laura Dyrda at with questions or comments on this list.

Note: This list is not an endorsement of included hospitals, health systems or associated healthcare providers. Organizations cannot pay for inclusion on this list and are listed in alphabetical order.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital (Minneapolis). Abbott Northwestern Hospital is the flagship facility of Minneapolis-based Allina Health and also serves as a teaching facility of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The 631-bed hospital serves more than 200,000 patients annually across the state and trains more than 30 residents each year. Abbott Northwestern ranked No. 1 in the Twin Cities on U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Regional Hospitals list for 2018-19, its sixth consecutive year.

Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center (Milwaukee). Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center is the flagship hospital of Milwaukee-based Aurora Health Care, an integrated healthcare system that merged with Downers Grove, Ill.-based Advocate Health in 2018 to create the 10th-largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. The medical center, known for its highly respected heart and vascular program, is licensed for 900 beds, but currently has about 560. Since 1982, the medical center’s surgeons have completed more than 800 heart transplants, more than any other healthcare system in the state. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked St. Luke’s the top hospital in Southeastern Wisconsin for the second consecutive year.

Banner University Medical Center Phoenix. Banner University Medical Center Phoenix is one of the 28 hospitals under the Banner Health umbrella. The medical center has 757 beds and serves as the designated academic medical center for the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. Banner University Medicine has 882 faculty physicians, 48 fellowship programs and 36 residency programs. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked Banner University Medical Center Phoenix the No. 2 hospital in Arizona.

Baptist Health Lexington (Ky.). Established in 1954 as Central Baptist Hospital, Baptist Health Lexington has grown into a 391-bed tertiary care facility with a medical research and education center. Baptist Health Lexington is a leader in maternity care, having delivered nearly 160,000 babies since its establishment. The hospital has more than 500 physicians on staff that specialize in more than 50 areas. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baptist Health Lexington the No. 2 hospital in Kentucky.

Barnes-Jewish Hospital (St. Louis). Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the largest healthcare facility in Missouri, has 1,638 licensed beds and 1,266 staffed beds. In 2018, the hospital’s 1,698 attending physicians and 3,738 registered nurses oversaw 53,428 inpatient admissions and 79,457 emergency department visits. In 2018, Barnes-Jewish Hospital opened a new 12-story inpatient tower. In 2018-19 U.S. News & World Report named Barnes-Jewish Hospital the No. 11 hospital in the nation and the No. 1 hospital in Missouri.

Baylor University Medical Center (Dallas). Founded in 1903, Baylor University Medical Center was the first hospital of the Baylor Scott & White Health system and serves as its flagship. It has grown from a 25-bed facility into a major academic medical center with 914 licensed beds. Baylor University Medical Center has 4,982 employees, including 1,209 physicians and 220 medical residents and fellows, who care for more than 300,000 patients per year. In 2018-19 U.S. News & World Report ranked the medical center No. 3 in Texas.

Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak (Mich.). Beaumont Hospital-Royal Oak is a 1,100-bed teaching facility affiliated with three medical schools in Michigan, including Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Auburn Hills, Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine in East Lansing and the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. The hospital has 454 residents and fellows on staff, as well as 1,400 physicians. Beaumont Royal Oak Emergency Center is among the highest volume emergency departments in the country, with 130,733 visits in 2018. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak the No. 2 hospital in Michigan.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Boston). Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital, has 673 licensed beds, including 493 medical-surgical beds, 77 critical care beds and 62 OB-GYN beds. Currently, the medical center has more than 2,000 principal investigators, technicians and staff overseeing 2,500 active clinical research trials. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked it the No. 3 hospital in Massachusetts.

Billings (Mont.) Clinic. Billings Clinic is a physician-led, multispecialty group practice. The 304-bed nonprofit is Montana’s largest healthcare organization, with about 4,200 staff members, including more than 440 physicians and advanced practitioners. Last year, the hospital’s total community benefit was $45.4 million, which included $11.4 million in financial assistance to 8,700 patients. Billings Clinic was ranked the No. 1 hospital in Montana by U.S. News & World Report in 2018-19.

Boston Children’s Hospital. Boston Children’s Hospital is one of the largest pediatric care facilities in the U.S. with 404 beds. It is also a teaching hospital for Boston-based Harvard Medical School. Each year, Boston Children’s medical staff oversees 25,000 inpatient programs, 26,500 surgical procedures and 214,000 radiological exams. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston Children’s Hospital the top pediatric hospital in the nation for the fifth consecutive year.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston). Brigham and Women’s Hospital, an internationally known referral center and flagship hospital for Brigham Health, is a major teaching hospital of Boston-based Harvard Medical School. Brigham and Women’s Physician Organization has more than 1,200 physicians and BWH has around 1,100 trainees. The hospital is also home to the BWH Research Institute, which has more than 1,000 principal investigators who have earned more than $640 million in research funding. U.S. News & World Report ranked Brigham and Women’s Hospital among the top 20 hospitals in the nation in its 2018-19 rankings and the No. 2 hospital in Massachusetts.

Carilion Roanoke (Va.) Memorial Hospital. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital is the 703-bed flagship facility of Carilion Clinic, which serves about 1 million residents in western Virginia. The hospital also teaches and develops medical leaders through residencies and fellowships sponsored by the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke. Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital has 737 employed physicians representing more than 75 specialties. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital the No. 4 hospital in Virginia for 2018-19.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles). The nonprofit hospital was founded as a 12-bed facility in 1902. Since then, Cedars-Sinai has grown into an academic healthcare organization with two hospitals, including the flagship Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, more than 4,500 physicians and 40-plus care locations that see more than 1 million patients each year. Cedars-Sinai was ranked the No. 8 hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19, and was ranked among the nation’s 50 best hospitals by Healthgrades in 2017-18.

CHI Memorial Hospital (Chattanooga, Tenn.). CHI Memorial Hospital was founded in 1952 and is affiliated with Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, the organization formed through the merger of Englewood, Colo.-based Catholic Health Initiatives and San Francisco-based Dignity Health in 2019. The 349-bed hospital sees 18,000-plus inpatient admissions annually and conducts more than 19,000 surgeries a year. CHI Memorial Hospital was named the No. 2 hospital in Tennessee by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck (N.D.). CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck was founded in 1885 and is dedicated to serving the residents of central and western North Dakota, northern South Dakota and eastern Montana. They offer a full range of inpatient and outpatient medical services, including primary and specialty physician clinics; home health and hospice services; durable medical equipment services and a fitness and human performance center. CHI St. Alexius Health Bismarck was ranked the No. 1 hospital in North Dakota by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia opened in 1855 as the nation’s first facility dedicated exclusively to pediatric care. Since then, the 546-bed institution has grown to include a staff of more than 13,000 people. It saw more than 29,000 inpatient admissions during fiscal year 2018. The hospital is also home of one of the largest pediatric research facilities in the U.S. and was ranked the No. 3 children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Christiana Care Health System (Delaware). Christiana Care Health System is composed of two hospitals, in Wilmington and Newark, Del., with a total of more than 1,200 beds, several outpatient centers and other health facilities and a staff of more than 11,000 people. The health system is the only level 1 trauma center and high-risk delivery hospital in Delaware. In fiscal year 2018, Christiana Care Health System saw 52,339 inpatient admissions and performed 37,634 surgical procedures. The nonprofit system is also a teaching facility with more than 260 medical residents and fellows.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The nonprofit academic medical center was established in 1883, making it one of the oldest pediatric hospitals in the U.S. Cincinnati Children’s had more than 1.3 million patient encounters in fiscal year 2017, including patients from all 50 states and more than 589 from around the world. The more than 600-bed hospital has also maintained a clinical affiliation with the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine since 1926, training more than 600 medical residents and clinical fellows per year. Cincinnati Children’s was ranked the No. 2 children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Cleveland Clinic. Named the No. 2 hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19, Cleveland Clinic is an 18-hospital system with more than 5,895 beds at its inpatient and outpatient locations. In 2018, the health system, which includes hospitals in Florida and Abu Dhabi, conducted more than 244,000 surgical procedures and had more than 850,000 emergency visits. Cleveland Clinic also reported operating revenues of $9.82 billion during fiscal year 2018. The health system, which is an academic teaching facility, had 1,923 medical residents and fellows in training last year.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon, N.H.). Dartmouth-Hitchcock serves as the only academic health system in New Hampshire, providing roughly 1.9 million patients with access to 1,500-plus primary care physicians and specialists. It is the only level 1 trauma center in the state. The 396-bed facility was named the state’s No. 1 hospital by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Duke University Hospital (Durham, N.C.). Duke University Hospital is a 957-bed facility that took 42,000-plus inpatient admissions and had more than 1 million outpatient visits during fiscal year 2018. The hospital is part of Duke University Health System, which has 19,000 full-time employees and is the second-largest private employer in North Carolina. The organization is also affiliated with the Duke University School of Medicine, which is credited with creating the nation’s first physician assistant program. Duke University Hospital was ranked among the top 20 hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital (Atlanta). Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1880, Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital is the longest-serving hospital in Atlanta. It has grown to include a 32-acre hospital campus with 410 beds and 66 ICU beds. The hospital had 14,000-plus inpatient visits, 120,000-plus outpatient visits and 33,000-plus emergency room visits during fiscal year 2016. In 2013, the hospital became part of Emory Healthcare. Four years later, it was named the No. 2 hospital in the city and state by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Emory University Hospital (Atlanta). Founded in 1904 as Wesley Memorial Hospital, the facility was housed in a downtown Atlanta mansion that had been spared from significant damage during the Civil War. Now, the hospital has 751beds, including 120 intensive care unit beds, and is known for its cardiology, cardiac surgery and neurosurgery services. Emory University Hospital had 26,000-plus inpatient visits, 166,000-plus outpatient visits and 44,000-plus emergency room visits in 2016. The facility was named the No. 1 hospital in the city and state by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin (Milwaukee). Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin is a regional health network that includes 1,700-plus physicians, almost 40 health centers and clinics, and five hospitals, including the flagship 604-bed Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Wis. The health network has roughly 1.1 million outpatient admissions and more than 50,000 inpatient visits annually. The network includes the Medical College of Wisconsin, the state’s only private medical school. Medical college faculty direct or collaborate on more than 2,000 research studies, including clinical trials, per year.

Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center. Hackensack University Medical Center was founded as a 12-bed hospital in 1888 and has since transformed into a major nonprofit teaching and research hospital with 775 beds. The medical center, which employs nearly 2,500 physicians and recorded 69,457 admissions in 2017, is the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey. U.S. News & World Report recognized Hackensack University Medical Center as the No. 2 hospital in New Jersey and among the top 5 hospitals in the New York metropolitan area in its 2018-19 rankings.

Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City). Hospital for Special Surgery was founded in 1863 and represents one of the oldest orthopedic hospitals in the country. Surgeons at the academic medical center perform more than 30,000 surgical procedures annually, including more hip surgeries and knee replacements than any other hospital in the country. On average, the hospital’s joint replacement specialists perform 365 joint replacements every year. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Hospital for Special Surgery the No. 1 hospital for orthopedics for nine consecutive years, most recently in 2018-19.

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania opened its doors in 1765 and became the nation’s first teaching hospital in 1874. Fast forward to today, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania plans to further expand its footprint by opening a 17-story, 1.5-million-square-foot inpatient facility called “The Pavilion” in 2021, which will include 500 private patient rooms. In its 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania as the No. 1 hospital in Pennsylvania and among the top 15 in the country.

Houston Methodist Hospital. Houston Methodist Hospital was founded in 1919 as a 30-bed facility to help treat victims of the Spanish flu epidemic. The organization has since transformed into a 2,000-bed academic medical system within Houston-based Texas Medical Center. The academic medical system now comprises eight hospitals and employs 6,700 affiliated physicians and 24,000 staff members. In its 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Houston Methodist Hospital as the No. 1 hospital in Texas for the seventh year in a row.

Indiana University Health University Hospital (Indianapolis). IU Health University Hospital was known as the Robert W. Long Hospital when it opened in 1914 as the first teaching hospital for Indiana University School of Medicine. Today, the academic medical center trains more than 1,000 residents and fellows annually and employs nearly 30,000 team members, including 1,500 board-certified physicians. It recorded 115,354 admissions in 2017. U.S. News & World Report recognized IU Health University Hospital as the No. 1 hospital in Indianapolis and the No. 1 hospital in Indiana in its 2018-19 rankings.

Intermountain Medical Center (Murray, Utah). Intermountain Medical Center is the flagship hospital of Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare and with 504 beds is the largest hospital in Utah. The 1.7 million-square-foot medical center opened in 2007 and was named Utah’s best hospital by U.S. News & World Report for the first time in 2013. In September 2018, Intermountain opened the Kem C. Gardner Transformation Center at Intermountain Medical Center, where scientists and physicians are collaborating on more than 1,500 research studies in more than 20 clinical areas.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Baltimore). Hospital benefactor Johns Hopkins opened the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889 with the vision of uniting a hospital and medical school in a previously unseen way. Today, the 1,177-bed hospital has maintained this focus on innovation, with clinicians pioneering numerous medical advancements in the last 25 years, including multipatient kidney “swaps,” the nerve-sparing prostatectomy and a double hand transplant. U.S. News & World Report recognized the Johns Hopkins Hospital as the No. 1 hospital in Maryland and No. 3 hospital in the nation in its 2018-19 rankings.

Keck Hospital of USC (Los Angeles). Keck Hospital of USC is one of two acute care hospitals at Keck Medicine of USC, which includes the 158-bed USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, the 60-bed USC Norris Cancer Hospital and more than 40 outpatient facilities. Many physicians at Keck Hospital conduct research and teach at Los Angeles-based Keck School of Medicine of USC. In fact, after the medical school acquired the 401-bed nonprofit teaching hospital in 2009, the number of full-time faculty increased 29 percent. In its 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News & World Report recognized Keck Hospital among the top three hospitals in Los Angeles and among the top 10 in California.

Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Ill.). Loyola University Medical Center comprises a team of 6,151 employees, 760 physicians, 521 residents and 2,400 medical trainees. The 547-bed academic medical center has a level 1 trauma center, a 20-bed stem cell transplant center and a large burn center. In 2016, Loyola surgeons performed more lung and heart transplants than any other center in Illinois. In its 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News & World Report listed Loyola University Medical Center as the No. 3 hospital in Illinois.

Maine Medical Center (Portland). Founded in 1868, Maine Medical Center is the state’s largest hospital with 637 beds and nearly 8,700 employees. As Portland-based MaineHealth’s flagship facility, Maine Medical Center serves as both a community hospital and a referral center for residents across Maine and northern New England. The hospital also houses the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, where medical advancements spurred the creation of the hospital’s dialysis and bone marrow transplant programs. U.S. News & World Report recognized Maine Medical Center as the No. 1 hospital in Maine in its 2018-19 rankings.

Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston). Opened in 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital has a long history of innovation, with a Massachusetts General physician performing the first X-ray in the U.S. in 1896. Massachusetts General houses the nation’s largest hospital-based research center and had an annual budget of more than $928 million in 2018. More than one-third of the hospital’s physicians are conducting medical research across 30 departments, centers and institutes. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Massachusetts General among the nation’s five best hospitals every year for more than two decades. The hospital ranked No. 4 on U.S. News‘ 2018-19 rankings.

Mayo Clinic (Rochester, Minn.). Mayo Clinic is the largest employer in the Rochester area with nearly 35,000 allied health professionals on staff, including 2,448 physicians and scientists. The health system also has a large global reach, treating 1.3 million patients from all 50 U.S. states and 136 countries in 2017. Mayo Clinic is highly dedicated to basic, translational, clinical and epidemiological research, funding more than 12,000 active clinical trials across 24 core research laboratories. U.S. News & World Report ranked the nonprofit academic medical center as the nation’s No. 1 hospital in its 2018-19 ratings.

Mayo Clinic Jacksonville (Fla.). Mayo Clinic opened its Jacksonville campus in 1986, and the 304-bed hospital offers care in more than 40 adult medical and surgical specialties. With more than 5,800 allied health staff members and clinicians, Mayo Clinic Jacksonville is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Florida for 2018-19. Mayo Clinic Jacksonville received the Greening the OR Recognition Award from Practice Greenhealth in 2018.

Mayo Clinic Phoenix. A team of more than 6,600 clinicians and allied health staff provide care to more than 100,000 patients each year at Mayo Clinic Phoenix. The quality of care in each of those interactions earned Mayo Clinic Phoenix the No. 11 spot on U.S. News & World Report‘s national Best Hospitals Honor Roll and recognition as the No. 1 hospital in Arizona in 2018-19. The 268-bed hospital was ranked among America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2019 by Healthgrades.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital (Washington, D.C.). MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a 609-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital. The hospital has a focus on four centers of excellence: cancer care, gastroenterology, neurosciences and transplants. The hospital is part of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, where surgeons have performed more than 5,100 transplants, including 106 liver transplants per year. The hospital includes more than 900 physicians and nurse counselors providing care for patients. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked MedStar Georgetown the No. 1 hospital in Washington, D.C., for the third year in a row. The hospital is also home to three units that earned the Beacon Award for Excellence by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center earned National Cancer Institute designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital (Baltimore). With roots dating back more than 160 years, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has grown from a 20-bed facility to a 223-bed teaching hospital. Today, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital has more than 2,500 employees and a medical staff of more than 620 physicians. The hospital received the Partner for Change Award from Practice Greenhealth in 2017.

Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center (Houston). Founded in 1925, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center is the primary teaching hospital for the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. As one of only two level 1 trauma centers in the greater Houston area, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center provides emergency and trauma care to more than 40,000 patients a year. Known for its Heart & Vascular Institute, Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center was ranked among the top 30 hospitals in the nation for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19 and was also recognized as the No. 4 hospital in Texas.

Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines (Iowa). Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1893, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines is the longest continually operating hospital in Des Moines. Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines has roughly 7,000 employees, a medical staff of more than 1,000, and 875 beds across several locations. A member of the Mercy Health Network, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines was recognized as the No. 2 hospital in Iowa in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-19 rankings.

Mississippi Baptist Medical Center (Jackson). With roots dating back to 1911, Mississippi Baptist Medical Center has evolved to include 564 beds and several top-performing programs. Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Mississippi for 2018-19, Mississippi Baptist Medical Center is part of Baptist Health Systems, which joined Baptist Memorial Health Care in 2017. Mississippi Baptist Medical Center earned a spot on Healthgrades’ lists of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Joint Replacement Surgery and America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Prostate Surgery in 2018.

Morristown (N.J.) Medical Center. Part of Morristown-based Atlantic Health System, Morristown Medical Center comprises more than 6,100 employees and more than 2,400 physicians and medical residents. In 2018, the 735-bed hospital had 39,383 admissions and 92,930 emergency department visits. Morristown Medical Center was ranked among America’s 50 Best Hospitals in 2019 by Healthgrades and recognized as the No. 1 hospital in New Jersey on the U.S. News & World Report‘s 2018-19 rankings.

Mount Sinai Hospital (New York City). Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai Hospital is a tertiary care teaching hospital that has been recognized for providing high-quality clinical care. Mount Sinai Hospital earned the No. 18 spot on U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Hospitals Honor Roll for 2018-19 and was named the No. 3 hospital in New York. The 1,171-bed hospital established the first geriatric emergency department in New York City and is now home to a program for former NFL players seeking treatment.

MUSC Health-University Medical Center (Charleston, S.C.). MUSC Health, part of Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina, comprises a 700-bed academic medical center, which includes a nationally recognized children’s hospital, South Carolina’s only solid organ transplant center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, a level 1 trauma center, an institute of psychiatry and more than 100 outreach locations statewide. MUSC Health-University Medical Center achieved recognition as the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina on U.S. News & World Report‘s 2018-19 rankings. In 2017, MUSC was named one of the first National Telehealth Centers of Excellence by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

Nebraska Medicine-Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha). Nebraska Medical Center is the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and is part of Nebraska Medicine, which traces its roots back to 1869. The 718-bed hospital has earned a reputation for providing high-quality care and was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Nebraska for 2018-19. Nebraska Medical Center, which has a team of more than 1,000 physicians, received the Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award from Vizient in 2016 and 2017.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (New York City). An academic medical center with over 2,600 beds, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital clinicians see more than 2 million patient visits each year, including roughly 310,000 emergency department visits. Created through the merger of the New York Hospital and the Presbyterian Hospital in January 1998, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital has 20,000 employees and more than 6,500 affiliated physicians. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital was ranked the No. 1 hospital in New York by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19 and earned the No. 10 spot on the publication’s Best Hospitals Honor Roll.

NorthShore University HealthSystem Evanston (Ill.) Hospital. Evanston Hospital opened in 1891 and is the center of NorthShore University HealthSystem. The 354-bed teaching hospital was ranked among the top 10 hospitals in Illinois by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19, and it houses a level 1 trauma center, a neurological institute, a cardiovascular care center and the Kellogg Cancer Center. The hospital is the regional center for high-risk obstetrics and houses the Grainger Center for Simulation and Innovation, which provides clinicians and first responders with simulated trauma and emergency preparedness training in a controlled environment. In 2019, NorthShore University HealthSystem was recognized as one of Watson Health’s 100 Top Hospitals for the 20th time.

Northwestern Memorial Hospital (Chicago). The 894-bed Northwestern Memorial Hospital includes 1,900 affiliated physicians across a spectrum of specialties. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 13 in the nation and No. 1 in Chicago for 2018-19. Northwestern Memorial also received a 2018 Top Hospital Award from The Leapfrog Group. In 2018, the hospital joined a group of U.S. healthcare organizations serving as preferred providers of specialized care to patients in the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, Mishawaka, Ind.-based Franciscan Health entered into a professional services agreement with Northwestern Memorial Hospital to offer its patients neurosurgery and telestroke services.

NYU Langone Health (New York City). NYU Langone Health includes 1,182 beds and 6,361 medical staff members. The organization remains on the cutting edge of care delivery, launching a virtual urgent care service that gives thousands of patients access to 30-plus emergency medicine physicians for minor conditions such as flu-like symptoms and pink eye, in 2017. The health system’s school of medicine made waves last year when it began offering full-tuition scholarships to current and new medical students with the aim of mitigating the high cost of medical education. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 15 in the nation for 2018-19.

Ochsner Medical Center (New Orleans). With over 750 beds, Ochsner Medical Center is focused on remaining at the forefront of health IT, collaborating with its EHR vendor and Microsoft last year to deploy artificial intelligence technology as an early-warning system. The hospital’s reputation for innovation also extends to its infrastructure. In summer 2018, the hospital completed a seven-floor addition to its West Tower, which features 34 private inpatient rooms. U.S. News & World Report ranked Ochsner Medical Center No. 1 in Louisiana for 2018-19. The hospital was a recipient of the 2018 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Davies Award, which recognizes innovative applications of health IT to improve patient care.

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus). The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center includes seven hospitals and 1,506 beds, with the 900-bed University Hospital as its flagship facility. Last year, OSU Wexner Medical Center opened the Bob and Corrine Frick Center for Heart Failure and Arrhythmia at the Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital. The organization is focused on furthering care access and delivery, and in 2018, it collaborated with Columbus-based Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop a proton therapy treatment facility, the first of its kind in central Ohio.

OHSU Hospital (Portland, Ore.). OHSU Hospital includes 576 licensed beds and 2,231 credentialed healthcare providers. The hospital is one of five across the U.S. to be verified as both a level 1 children’s trauma center and a level 1 site for children’s surgery by the American College of Surgeons. It is the only hospital in Portland that received a five-star rating from CMS in 2019, and U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 1 in Oregon for 2018-19. In 2018, the organization completed the 320,000-square-foot Knight Cancer Research Building, which will bring together researchers focused on advancing cancer research.

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey (Pa.) Medical Center. Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is a 548-bed facility that reports approximately 28,472 adult and pediatric admissions per year, as well as 74,945 annual emergency room visits. In 2018, The Leapfrog Group honored Hershey Medical Center with a Top Hospital award. Over the past year, the hospital has deployed a strategy to connect Hershey Medical Center, Reading, Pa.-based Penn State Health St. Joseph, and 67 Penn State Health Medical Group locations through one platform. Penn State Health is also planning to complete an emergency department expansion at Hershey Medical Center in 2019 that will add three new operating rooms.

Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. The 643-bed Piedmont Atlanta Hospital reports 54,662 emergency department visits, 28,587 inpatient admissions and 279,700 outpatient encounters annually. It includes a level 1 vascular center, and in 2018 received a Gold Quality Achievement Award from American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines stroke program. U.S. News & World Report named Piedmont Atlanta Hospital the No. 3 institution in Georgia. Additionally, the hospital is building a 16-story, $603 million patient tower that will add 870,000 square feet of new construction and up to 408 beds. The first phase of the tower project will open in 2020 and the final phase will be completed in 2026.

Porter Adventist Hospital (Denver). Porter Adventist Hospital, part of Centennial, Colo.-based Centura Health, includes 368 licensed beds and an active medical staff of 940. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 2 in Colorado. The hospital saw 9,524 admissions and 20,742 emergency department visits in 2018. The hospital is currently focused on expanding its nurse navigation-led digestive health program and revamping its transplant program in partnership with Advent Health Orlando (Fla.).

Providence St. Vincent Medical Center (Portland, Ore.). The 523-bed Providence St. Vincent Medical Center includes several specialty centers and a transcatheter aortic valve replacement program. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 2 in Oregon, and in 2014 received The Joint Commission’s Comprehensive Stroke Center designation. The hospital is in the midst of Project Renew, which moves patients from their rooms to other locations so the hospital can remodel and replace the exterior of the main tower.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick (N.J.). Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick is a 600-bed academic medical center that features a level 1 trauma center. In February, the hospital opened a 21,000-square-foot critical cardiovascular care unit, which includes 24 intensive care unit rooms. Beyond clinical care, RWJUH takes pride in its work environment for staff members. The Human Rights Campaign Foundation has recognized the hospital as a Leader in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality for four consecutive years.

Rush University Medical Center (Chicago). This year, the medical center became the third provider in the nation to achieve the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s Stage 7 designation for the Adoption Model for Analytics Maturity, which recognizes healthcare organizations’ application of analytics in patient care. The medical center received $45 million from the Wounded Warrior Project for its Road Home Program, which gives military veterans and their families access to mental health services regardless of their ability to pay. The 727-bed Rush University Medical Center is ranked No. 2 in Illinois and the Chicago metro area on U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Regional Hospitals list.

Sanford USD Medical Center (Sioux Falls, S.D.). The 545-bed, 4,000-employee Sanford USD Medical Center is a teaching hospital for the Sanford School of Medicine at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. The medical center is focused on giving its patients access to cutting-edge technologies, and in 2017 it opened a new 100,000-square-foot facility to house Sanford Imagenetics, a comprehensive program integrating genetics with internal medicine. The hospital is ranked No. 1 in South Dakota on U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Regional Hospitals list.

Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla (Calif.). The 444-bed Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla has served the San Diego community since 1924, and its campus includes the Barbey Family Emergency and Trauma Center, the Prebys Cardiovascular Institute, and Scripps Clinic’s John R. Anderson V Medical Pavilion. Combined with Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla ranks as the top hospital in the San Diego region, according to U.S. News & World Report‘s 2018-19 Best Regional Hospitals ranking.

Spectrum Health-Butterworth and Blodgett Campuses (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Established in 1873, the 564-bed Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital includes the Fred and Lena Meijer Heart Center, the Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and the Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion. Sister facility Blodgett Hospital was established in 1846 and houses 248 patient rooms. Since 2016, both award-winning nonprofit hospitals have continually been recognized nationally by U.S. News & World Report and Healthgrades for patient safety and medical excellence.

St. Cloud (Minn.) Hospital. St. Cloud Hospital, part of St. Cloud-based CentraCare Health, was founded in 1886 by the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict. Today, the 489-bed hospital employs more than 555 physicians, and its workforce, including full- and part-time employees, totals 6,470. The hospital is decorated with national awards, making Truven’s 100 Top Hospitals and U.S. News & World Report‘s Best Hospitals lists in 2017. St. Cloud Hospital also received its fourth Magnet recognition in 2018, one of only 49 hospitals to achieve the honor.

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City (Mo.). The primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City has a network of more than 600 physicians across 60 medical specialties. For 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City among the top 5 percent of all hospitals in the country and as No. 2 in the state. CMS awarded the nonprofit hospital five stars for quality and safety measures in 2018.

St. Luke’s Boise (Idaho) Medical Center. Founded in 1902, 604-bed St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center is the largest healthcare provider in Idaho, and is the flagship hospital of St. Luke’s Health System, also based in Boise. The nonprofit hospital was ranked by Truven Health Analytics as one of the top 15 health systems in the U.S. in 2018, its fifth consecutive year achieving the honor. St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center and its sister hospital, St. Luke’s Meridian (Idaho) Medical Center, are Idaho’s top hospitals, and the only two to earn a five-star rating from CMS in 2019.

Stanford (Calif.) Hospital. The 613-bed Stanford Hospital houses the only level 1 trauma center between San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., and saw 76,115 emergency room visits in 2018. The hospital, staffed by more than 2,500 medical staff, was ranked the No. 9 hospital in the nation for 2018-19 by U.S. News & World Report. In 2019, Stanford Health Care plans to open a new, 824,000-square-foot hospital.

Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester (N.Y.). The 849-bed Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester is a nonprofit teaching facility with more than 3,000 researchers. The hospital operates alongside an oral health institute, a medical and dentistry school and a school of nursing. Over the past five years, Strong Memorial Hospital of the University of Rochester has achieved approximately $1.2 billion in biomedical research funding and has received a total of $86 million from the National Institutes of Health.

Tampa (Fla.) General Hospital. The 1,010-bed nonprofit Tampa General Hospital is home to a 32-bed neuroscience intensive care unit and serves a population of more than 4 million residents. The hospital is one of the area’s largest employers with more than 8,000 employees and U.S. News & World Report named Tampa General Hospital the No. 1 hospital in Tampa Bay. Tampa General is the primary teaching hospital of the Tampa-based USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, which funnels more than 300 residents and 100 fellows to the hospital for specialty training.

Texas Children’s Hospital (Houston). In 2017, physicians at the 945-bed Texas Children’s Hospital completed more than 37,000 surgeries and delivered 6,000 babies at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women. U.S. News & World Report ranked Texas Children’s Hospital No. 4 in the nation for 2018-19, and No. 1 in the nation for both child cardiology and heart surgery and pulmonology in the same years. In 2018, the Texas Children’s Trauma and Grief Center received a $1 million grant from the Victims of Crime Act to support children in the aftermath of the Santa Fe High School shooting that took place March 18, 2018.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (Philadelphia). Last year, 2,580 physicians and 3,300 nurses at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital treated 39,970 inpatients. The 908-bed nonprofit hospital is a designated Cancer Center of Excellence and Transplant Center of Excellence by OptumHealth, and Healthgrades honored the hospital with its America’s Best Hospitals award for 2019. Jefferson Health made headlines last year when the system reported it would raise minimum wage for employees at its hospitals and Thomas Jefferson University to $15 an hour. In the past five years, the health system has grown into a $5.1 billion operation with more than 30,000 employees.

UC Davis Medical Center (Sacramento, Calif.). The 625-bed UC Davis Medical Center admits more than 30,000 patients each year, and specialists see almost 1 million visits there annually. UC Davis Medical Center is home to one of the 49 cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute as a comprehensive cancer center. The nonprofit UC Davis Medical Center is ranked No.1 in Sacramento by U.S. News & World Report for 2018-19.

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (Los Angeles). The 520-bed Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center was founded in 1955, and today its clinicians treat more than 50,000 emergency room patients each year. The nonprofit hospital, which includes Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Stewart and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital at UCLA and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, is situated on four acres of the UCLA campus in West Los Angeles. U.S. News & World Report recognized UCLA Medical Center as the No. 7 best hospital in the nation for 2018-19.

UCSF Medical Center (San Francisco). UCSF Medical Center is a 600-bed academic medical center featuring three main California-based campuses in Parnassus, Mount Zion and Mission Bay. It is home to 1,600 residents and 1,100 postdoctoral scholars serving patients in San Francisco and from the surrounding areas. UCSF Health, which includes UCSF Medical Center as its flagship hospital, is part of Canopy Health, an accountable care network, and recently formed a strategic alliance with Greenbrae, Calif.-based Marin General Hospital to expand clinical collaborations in specialty care. For its 2018-19 rankings, U.S. News & World Report named UCSF Medical Center the No. 1 hospital in California and among the top 50 hospitals in the nation.

UF Health Shands Hospital (Gainesville, Fla.). Established in 1958, UF Health Shands Hospital is a 1,162-bed, nonprofit medical center. The hospital is home to more than 1,200 Gainesville-based University of Florida College of Medicine faculty, who provide care in more than 100 specialty areas. The health system also boasts a medical staff of 1,209 physicians and has 10,324 employees who provide care for patients during more than 55,000 admissions per year. UF Health Shands Hospital is a level 1 trauma center and has built affiliations across the state for specialty care to serve patients from across Florida as well as patients from more than a dozen countries.

UMass Memorial Medical Center (Worcester, Mass.). UMass Memorial Medical Center is a 773-bed academic medical center that includes 1,392 physicians, 2,402 nurses and 9,991 employees. The hospital supports around 37,668 discharges, 135,004 emergency department visits and more than 1 million outpatient visits per year. In 2019, the hospital earned a spot on the Healthgrades Best Hospitals list, and Newsweek named UMass Memorial among the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation. The hospital also earned the Platinum Certification of Recognition from the Health Resources and Services Administration Workplace Partnership for Life distinction in 2017.

UNC Hospitals (Chapel Hill, N.C.). With more than 900 beds, UNC Hospitals comprises N.C. Memorial Hospital, N.C. Children’s Hospital, N.C. Neurosciences Hospital and N.C. Women’s Hospital, all located in Chapel Hill. The health system was established in 1952 and has more than 1,700 faculty physicians. In 2019, UNC Hospitals was ranked No.1 on U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools. The health system was also recognized among the nation’s top 50 hospitals in ear, nose and throat as well as cancer treatment by U.S. News & World Report in 2018-19.

UnityPoint Health Cedar Rapids (Iowa). Unity Point Health Cedar Rapids is a 532-bed, nonprofit hospital. In 2019, UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids received CMS’ highest five-star rating. UnityPoint Health Cedar Rapids, along with its clinic and home care services, records more than 4.5 million patient visits annually, with projected annual revenues reaching $3.7 billion. It is one of the nation’s largest 15 nonprofit health systems.

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. With more than 1,000 beds, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center includes general medical, intensive care and surgical units as well as two major hospitals: University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center and University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, both in Cleveland. The health system’s research center is home to the largest clinical trial site in northeast Ohio with more than 1,000 active trials. In 2019, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center was named to Ethisphere’s 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies list, which recognized 128 honorees. The health system also ranked U.S. News & World Report‘s No. 2 in Ohio for 2018-19.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital. University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital is a 1,157-bed institution. The health system’s UAB Callahan Eye Hospital was one of the first level 1 ocular trauma centers in the country, and it is the one of the only level 1 ocular trauma hospitals in Alabama. Founded in 1945, the health system comprises five facilities and more than 1,000 physicians. University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital was recognized as top performing in various specialties, such as rheumatology and cardiac surgery, by U.S. News & World Report in 2018-19.

University of Chicago Medical Center. Founded in 1927, the University of Chicago Medical Center comprises 811 beds and more than 800 attending physicians. In December 2018, the medical center became the first U.S. hospital to perform back-to-back triple-organ transplants on two patients to replace their failing hearts, livers and kidneys. The University of Chicago Medical Center also recently expanded its care services with the addition of its new fetal and neonatal care center, which launched in February.

University of Colorado Hospital (Aurora). University of Colorado Hospital was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Colorado in 2018-19. In 2018, the hospital became a level 1 trauma center. A partner of Aurora-based UCHealth, The University of Colorado Hospital’s providers also double as faculty members at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora. Altogether, UCHealth includes 22,100 employees and 51,239 inpatient admissions and observation visits.

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (Iowa City). With 811 beds, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics admits more than 36,000 patients annually. In 2017, the hospital implemented a three-year strategic plan to increase healthcare professional recruitment and retention rates as well as expand UI Health Care’s primary care. The health system employs an estimated 1,752 physicians and dentists, medical residents and fellows who are board-certified in more than 200 specialties. University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics also includes more than 200 outpatient clinics and the inpatient hospital serves as a major transplant center that recorded 571 organ and tissue transplants in 2017. In 2018, Forbes Magazine recognized the health system as one of the Best Employers for Diversity, placing University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics No. 16 among 250 employers nationwide. The health system was named the No. 1 hospital in Iowa by U.S. News & World Report in 2018-19.

University of Kansas Hospital (Kansas City, Kan.). The University of Kansas Hospital was established in 1906 as part of the University of Kansas School of Medicine and has since grown into a regional powerhouse. University of Kansas Health System was formed as a combination of the hospital and the University of Kansas Physicians in 2017, and the system opened a new 92-room surgical wing that same year. In 2018, the health system became a founding partner of a clinically integrated network, Centrus Health, and launched its Strawberry Hill Campus, which will include expanded mental and behavioral health services. In February, the University of Kansas Hospital announced plans to launch proton therapy treatments for cancer patients.

University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital (Lexington). The University of Kentucky Albert B. Chandler Hospital opened in 1962 and has grown into the 569-bed flagship hospital of UK HealthCare, comprising 9,000 healthcare providers. The hospital is a level 1 trauma center and has a level 4 neonatal intensive care unit. In October 2018, the hospital launched the UK Healthcare Simulation Center, which houses its multidisciplinary training and research program for healthcare providers. The simulation rooms all comprise technology including cameras and microphones to help simulate clinical scenarios from acute care, intensive care units and operating suites. In 2018-19, the health system was named the No. 1 hospital in Kentucky by U.S. News & World Report and among the country’s top 50 hospitals in four specialties, including cancer and orthopedics.

University of Maryland Medical Center (Baltimore). Established in 1823, the University of Maryland Medical Center has grown into an 841-bed hospital. With more than 1,000 faculty physicians, the hospital performs more than 400 organ transplants annually. In 2019, UMMC opened a 24,000-square-foot adult inpatient behavioral health clinic. The hospital was recognized as Maryland’s No. 2 hospital by U.S. News & World Report in 2018-19.

University of Michigan Hospitals – Michigan Medicine (Ann Arbor). University Hospital is an 11-story, 550-bed hospital dedicated to adult patients. Around 70 percent of the hospital’s patients are admitted from outside the Ann Arbor area. As the flagship hospital for Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan Hospitals earned a spot on the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals Honor Role in 2018-19. Michigan Medicine as a whole includes 1,000 licensed beds, 28,618 employees and 3,097 faculty members. In February, Michigan Medicine concluded a $1.49 billion fundraising campaign to bolster the health system’s research capabilities, student education and facilities design.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston). The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center provided care for around 146,600 patients in 2018, including more than 45,000 new patients. The hospital includes a staff of 20,350 employees and 1,747 faculty members and is home to one of the sites of The Moon Shots Program, launched in 2012 to stop around 20 types of cancer that account for 63 percent of cancer deaths per year. The hospital has also received millions of dollars in grant funding from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas.

University of Utah Hospital (Salt Lake City). University of Utah Hospital opened its doors in 1965 and has grown to comprise four hospitals and 12 neighborhood health centers. The hospital is home to more than 1,000 board-certified physicians and 8,000 staff members. In October 2018, the University of Utah Health system created Family Planning Elevated, funded in part by $5 million in grant funding, to provide education and training for community organizations that deliver reproductive health services. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Utah Hospital the No. 1 hospital in the state.

University of Virginia Medical Center (Charlottesville). As the flagship hospital for UVA Health System, University of Virginia Medical Center aims to advanced medical care as well as train the physicians of the future. U.S. News & World Report ranked the academic medical center No. 1 in Virginia for 2018-19. Last year, the 612-bed health system partnered with 20 other systems participating in AVIA network’s Medicaid Transformation Project to develop a financially sustainable healthcare model for Medicaid beneficiaries.

University of Washington Medical Center (Seattle). UW Medical Center provides specialty care to patients in the Seattle region as well as those who arrive from around the globe for complex interventions. The hospital includes a level 4 neonatal ICU and cancer care in partnership with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 1 in the state for 2018-19. The hospital also earned the Human Rights Campaign’s National Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality designation and Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award. In September 2018, the University of Washington’s Northwest Genomics Center became one of three centers nationwide to earn the National Institutes of Health All of Us Research Program.

University of Wisconsin Hospitals (Madison). The 505-bed University of Wisconsin Hospital is the flagship hospital for UW Health and home to a level 1 adult and pediatric trauma center. The hospital also includes a certified comprehensive stroke center and UW Carbone Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated center, and it launched the state’s first Lupus Clinic in February 2018. UW Health includes around 1,500 physicians who treat approximately 600,000 patients each year. U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Wisconsin Hospitals No. 1 in the state for 2018-19.

UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside (Pittsburgh). A 520-bed tertiary care hospital, UPMC Shadyside includes nearly 1,000 primary care physicians who deliver services alongside specialists. As a whole, UPMC includes 40 hospitals with more than 8,500 beds and 5,800 affiliated physicians. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside among the top 20 hospitals in the nation, including most recently in 2018-19. The hospitals, physicians and researchers are also dedicated to clinical studies, especially focused on cancer and nursing research. The hospital is headquarters for the research facilities of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and it participates in Transforming Care at the Bedside initiatives.

UT Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas). UT Southwestern medical center includes three degree-granting institutions, which train around 3,600 medical, graduate and health professional students, residents and post-doctoral fellows annually. The 862 bed hospital’s clinical staff accommodates around 370,000 emergency room cases per year. The hospital, which has 17,000 employees and a $3.2 billion operating budget, earned the No. 2 hospital ranking in Texas by U.S. News & World Report in 2018-19.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Nashville, Tenn.). Vanderbilt University Medical Center trains around 1,000 residents and fellows each year in more than 100 specialty areas. The hospital is a large academic medical center, accommodating more than 2 million patient visits each year. The hospital also works with more than 60 other hospitals and 5,000 clinicians in the surrounding region as part of the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network to drive best practices and value-based care. U.S. News & World Report ranked VUMC the No. 1 hospital in Tennessee for 2018-19. In January, VUMC signed a five-year partnership with GE Healthcare to develop and deliver more precise immunotherapy cancer treatment.

VCU Medical Center (Richmond, Va.). VCU Medical Center is the flagship hospital for VCU Health, which also includes the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Community Memorial Hospital and Virginia Premier Health Plan. The hospital reported 39,438 inpatient discharges and 24,992 surgeries in 2018. U.S. News & World Report ranked VCU Medical Center the No. 2 hospital in Virginia for 2018-19. In June 2018, VCU Health broke ground on a new $349.2 million outpatient facility as part of the redevelopment of its downtown medical campus.

Virginia Mason Medical Center (Seattle). Virginia Mason Medical Center is a nonprofit healthcare provider that includes 550 physicians and reported 14,707 inpatient admissions during 2017. Over the past two years, the 336-bed hospital has earned recognition as a Top Hospital by The Leapfrog Group and Healthgrades. In December, Virginia Mason appeared at the top of Washington Health Alliance’s report on quality and patient experience. In 2017, Virginia Mason formed a clinical partnership and strategic affiliation with CHI Franciscan to expand care services throughout the region.

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (Winston-Salem, N.C.). Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has a 100-plus year history in North Carolina. The hospital was founded in 1902 and now includes more than 14,000 employees and operates in excess of 1,000 acute care, psychiatric and rehabilitation beds. The 885-bed tertiary care hospital and campus includes a pediatric level 1 trauma center and burn center as well as the 144-bed Brenner Children’s Hospital and a comprehensive cancer center.

West Virginia University Hospitals (Morgantown, W.Va.). The J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital is a 690-bed academic medical center and flagship hospital for WVU Medicine. The hospital also plans to open a 155-bed children’s hospital tower in 2020 that will cost around $150 million and include a neonatal intensive care unit. The nine-hospital health system includes five specialty institutes and provides management services to three other hospitals. In 2017, the 1,625-bed health system supported 21,065 inpatient surgeries and 40,962 outpatient procedures. In 2018-19, U.S. News & World Report named West Virginia University Hospitals the No. 1 hospital in the state.

Yale New Haven (Conn.) Hospital. Yale New Haven Hospital was founded in 1826 as the General Hospital Society of Connecticut and has grown to into a 1,541-bed private, nonprofit teaching hospital with four pavilions around a central atrium. U.S. News & World Report ranked the hospital No. 1 in Connecticut for 2018-19 and its surgeons performed a record number of 30 adult heart transplants in 2018. In March 2018, the hospital became the first in the nation to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement as well as certification for hip fracture.

Link to original Article from Becker’s Hospital Review
Andrea ParkFriday, January 10th, 2020 Print  | Email
With expectations that a sizable portion of their workflows could be taken over by artificial intelligence in the near future, many physicians are preparing by pursuing additional training in AI, a Stanford (Calif.) Medicine report found.

Based on a survey of more than 700 physicians, residents and medical students, the 2020 Health Trends Report found that physicians and residents estimate that about one-quarter of their work will be completely automated in the future. Medical students, meanwhile, expect that up to 31 percent of their work will be taken on by AI.

Perhaps in response to these expectations, many of those surveyed said they are seeking additional training in advanced technology, with almost half of physicians and nearly three-quarters of students doing so. While 13 percent of students said they are specifically pursuing AI training, more than 30 percent of physicians said they plan on taking classes in AI.

View the full report here.

2020 Workplace Predictions: Improvements to the Employee Experience Top the List of Priorities in the New Year

SEATTLE, Dec. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Organizations eager to drive their business forward in the New Year will zero in on new approaches to enhance the employee experience and harness more technology adoption, predicts Fierce Conversations, a training company that teaches you how to have effective conversations that improve business results and build strong cultures.

“As we head into 2020, leaders across the globe will be unwilling to settle for the status quo — out of excitement, necessity, or both,” said Stacey Engle, President of Fierce Conversations. “Based on what we hear from the clients we work with day in and day out, it is clear that leaders are striving to push the envelope and redefine what it means to provide a better employee experience through all means necessary — especially technology.”

Below are the five key 2020 workplace predictions from Fierce Conversations:

  • Remote work will no longer be treated as a perk, but rather a necessity for employee retention. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not only has remote working increased by 115 percent since 2005 with no signs of slowing down, more than 16 percent of the entire American workforce now say they work remotely at least part of the time. These rising numbers have turned this perk into a vital benefit for organizations in which remote work is possible, hoping to attract and maintain their top employees.

In 2020, organizations will focus on the full working experience of remote employees. They’ll take steps to ensure these employees truly feel that they are an integral part of the company and its culture, and that they are not siloed from employees who physically work together. Organizations will focus on events, training and redefining expectations to ensure these efforts are successful.

  • Leading through rapid change will be a critical skill to master. The speed of technology advancement has created a marketplace that demands constant workplace evolution in order to succeed. According to the International Data Corporation, organizations will spend $1.7 trillion on digital transformation over the next two years. With this rapid growth comes change, and if leaders want their organizations to keep up within their industries, they must fully understand and excel at change management.

In 2020, leaders will focus on training their employees of all levels to embrace the benefits of change and how to properly tackle it using a mix of change management technology, frameworks and team building. A key aspect of this will be to focus on conversation skills and optimizing performance management. In order for change to be successful, it must first and foremost be people-led versus technology-led.

  • Inclusion will be at the forefront of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts. While efforts to diversify organizations will remain a priority, this alone will no longer be enough to remain competitive in the marketplace. Rather, fostering inclusion will be recognized as a separate initiative from diversifying an organization.

In the New Year, creating an inclusive company culture that empowers employees to feel that they can show up to work and be themselves will become more vital as the line between work and life continues to blend together. Fostering inclusion creates a strong and healthy culture that reduces hostility, not to mention lawsuits. With the 2020 election fast approaching, opinions and tempers will be at an all-time high when it comes to not only the presidential race but local politics as well. Organizations will work to ensure every employee — regardless of sex, gender identity, religion and beliefs — feel welcome and respected during these divisive times.

  • Predictive analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to improve HR outcomes. While each employee is critical to an organization, it can be difficult for HR leaders to see the bigger picture and identify trends when focused on individuals. The ability to use data and artificial intelligence to better understand employees and historical precedent will be an incredibly powerful tool used by leaders.

In the New Year, human resource departments will hire more data analysts than ever. These teams will increasingly take advantage of predictive technology to determine key data points such as top talent most at risk of attrition, best-fit application candidates, when to invest in employee career paths and areas of HR process improvement.

  • Virtual Reality (VR) technology will become more prevalent in leadership training programs. Most leadership and development trainings fail because they are unable to tap into emotions and personal experience for employees to successfully absorb what they learn.

VR simulation will start to transform trainings into experiences that can control what an individual sees, hears and feels throughout their learning. This behavior can also be collected for data to maximize the benefits of the training. In 2020, VR will become a greater part of the conversation for organizations to deliver quality, immersive training for their employees.

“The way HR professionals once approached trends in the workplace is no longer cutting it, which organizations are slowly coming to terms with,” continued Engle. “It’s an exciting time for company leaders as we move into the new decade, as the opportunities are vast to advance the work we do and the people we do it with in truly transformative ways. It is more important than ever to be focused on the individuals inside of your companies.”

Link to original article

Friday, December 13, 2019







“Machine Learning is defined as the study of computer programs that leverage algorithms and statistical models to learn through inference and patterns without being explicitly programed. Machine Learning field has undergone significant developments in the last decade.”

In this article, we explain machine learning, the types of machine learning and its applications in enterprise settings.

Table of Contents

What is Artificial Intelligence

What Is Machine Learning?

Types of Machine Learning

Supervised Learning

Unsupervised Learning

Reinforcement Learning

Applications of Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence Vs. Machine Learning

Closing Thoughts for Techies

Machine Learning (ML) has proven to be one of the most game-changing technological advancements of the past decade. In the increasingly competitive corporate world, ML is enabling companies to fast-track digital transformation and move into an age of automation. Some might even argue that AI/ML is required to stay relevant in some verticals, such as digital payments and fraud detection in banking or product recommendations .

The eventual adoption of machine learning algorithms and its pervasiveness in enterprises is also well-documented, with different companies adopting machine learning at scale across verticals.

Today, every other app and software all over the Internet uses machine learning in some form or the other. Machine Learning has become so pervasive that it has now become the go-to way for companies to solve a bevy of problems.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into what machine learning is, the basics of ML, types of machine learning algorithms, and a few examples of machine learning in action. We will also take a look at the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

 Robot signifying the future of artificial intelligence

To understand what machine learning is, we must first look at the basic concepts of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is defined as a program that exhibits cognitive ability similar to that of a human being. Making computers think like humans and solve problems the way we do is one of the main tenets of artificial intelligence.

AI exists as an umbrella term that is used to denote all computer programs that can think as humans do. Any computer program that shows characteristics, such as self-improvement, learning through inference, or even basic human tasks, such as image recognition and language processing, is considered to be a form of AI.

The field of artificial intelligence includes within it the sub-fields of machine learning and deep learning. Deep Learning is a more specialized version of machine learning that utilizes more complex methods for difficult problems. One thing to note, however, is the difference between machine learning and artificial intelligence. While machine learning is probabilistic (output can be explained, thereby ruling out the black box nature of AI), deep learning is deterministic.

The process of self-learning by collecting new data on the problem has allowed machine learning algorithms to take over the corporate space.

Learn More: 10 Most Common Myths About AI

What Is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning applications in the industry

With machine learning algorithms, AI was able to develop beyond just performing the tasks it was programmed to do. Before ML entered the mainstream, AI programs were only used to automate low-level tasks in business and enterprise settings.

This included tasks like intelligent automation or simple rule-based classification. This meant that AI algorithms were restricted to only the domain of what they were processed for. However, with machine learning, computers were able to move past doing what they were programmed and began evolving with each iteration.

Machine learning is fundamentally set apart from artificial intelligence, as it has the capability to evolve. Using various programming techniques, machine learning algorithms are able to process large amounts of data and extract useful information. In this way, they can improve upon their previous iterations by learning from the data they are provided.

We cannot talk about machine learning without speaking about big data, one of the most important aspects of machine learning algorithms. Any type of AI is usually dependent on the quality of its dataset for good results, as the field makes use of statistical methods heavily.

Machine learning is no exception, and a good flow of organized, varied data is required for a robust ML solution. In today’s online-first world, companies have access to a large amount of data about their customers, usually in the millions. This data, which is both large in the number of data points and the number of fields, is known as big data due to the sheer amount of information it holds.

Big data is time-consuming and difficult to process by human standards, but good quality data is the best fodder to train a machine learning algorithm. The more clean, usable, and machine-readable data there is in a big dataset, the more effective the training of the machine learning algorithm will be.

As explained, machine learning algorithms have the ability to improve themselves through training. Today, ML algorithms are trained using three prominent methods. These are three types of machine learning: supervised learning, unsupervised learning, and reinforcement learning.

Learn More: Modern Machine Learning – Overview With Simple Examples

Types of Machine Learning

Infographic about machine learning

As with any method, there are different ways to train machine learning algorithms, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. To understand the pros and cons of each type of machine learning, we must first look at what kind of data they ingest. In ML, there are two kinds of data — labeled data and unlabeled data.

Labeled data has both the input and output parameters in a completely machine-readable pattern, but requires a lot of human labor to label the data, to begin with. Unlabeled data only has one or none of the parameters in a machine-readable form. This negates the need for human labor but requires more complex solutions.

There are also some types of machine learning algorithms that are used in very specific use-cases, but three main methods are used today.

Supervised Learning

Supervised learning is one of the most basic types of machine learning. In this type, the machine learning algorithm is trained on labeled data. Even though the data needs to be labeled accurately for this method to work, supervised learning is extremely powerful when used in the right circumstances.

In supervised learning, the ML algorithm is given a small training dataset to work with. This training dataset is a smaller part of the bigger dataset and serves to give the algorithm a basic idea of the problem, solution, and data points to be dealt with. The training dataset is also very similar to the final dataset in its characteristics and provides the algorithm with the labeled parameters required for the problem.

The algorithm then finds relationships between the parameters given, essentially establishing a cause and effect relationship between the variables in the dataset. At the end of the training, the algorithm has an idea of how the data works and the relationship between the input and the output.

This solution is then deployed for use with the final dataset, which it learns from in the same way as the training dataset. This means that supervised machine learning algorithms will continue to improve even after being deployed, discovering new patterns and relationships as it trains itself on new data.

Unsupervised Learning

Unsupervised machine learning holds the advantage of being able to work with unlabeled data. This means that human labor is not required to make the dataset machine-readable, allowing much larger datasets to be worked on by the program.

In supervised learning, the labels allow the algorithm to find the exact nature of the relationship between any two data points. However, unsupervised learning does not have labels to work off of, resulting in the creation of hidden structures. Relationships between data points are perceived by the algorithm in an abstract manner, with no input required from human beings.

The creation of these hidden structures is what makes unsupervised learning algorithms versatile. Instead of a defined and set problem statement, unsupervised learning algorithms can adapt to the data by dynamically changing hidden structures. This offers more post-deployment development than supervised learning algorithms.

Reinforcement Learning

 Reinforcement learning techniques in organizations

Reinforcement learning directly takes inspiration from how human beings learn from data in their lives. It features an algorithm that improves upon itself and learns from new situations using a trial-and-error method. Favorable outputs are encouraged or ‘reinforced’, and non-favorable outputs are discouraged or ‘punished’.

Based on the psychological concept of conditioning, reinforcement learning works by putting the algorithm in a work environment with an interpreter and a reward system. In every iteration of the algorithm, the output result is given to the interpreter, which decides whether the outcome is favorable or not.

In case of the program finding the correct solution, the interpreter reinforces the solution by providing a reward to the algorithm. If the outcome is not favorable, the algorithm is forced to reiterate until it finds a better result. In most cases, the reward system is directly tied to the effectiveness of the result.

In typical reinforcement learning use-cases, such as finding the shortest route between two points on a map, the solution is not an absolute value. Instead, it takes on a score of effectiveness, expressed in a percentage value. The higher this percentage value is, the more reward is given to the algorithm. Thus, the program is trained to give the best possible solution for the best possible reward.

Learn More: How Is AI Changing the Finance, Healthcare, HR, and Marketing Industries?

Applications of Machine Learning

Machine learning algorithms are used in circumstances where the solution is required to continue improving post-deployment. The dynamic nature of adaptable machine learning solutions is one of the main selling points for its adoption by companies and organizations across verticals.

Machine learning algorithms and solutions are versatile and can be used as a substitute for medium-skilled human labor given the right circumstances. For example, customer service executives in large B2C companies have now been replaced by natural language processing machine learning algorithms known as chatbots. These chatbots can analyze customer queries and provide support for human customer support executives or deal with the customers directly.

Machine learning algorithms also help to improve user experience and customization for online platforms. Facebook, Netflix, Google, and Amazon all use recommendation systems to prevent content glut and provide unique content to individual users based on their likes and dislikes.

Facebook utilizes recommendation engines for its news feed on both Facebook and Instagram, as well as for its advertising services to find relevant leads. Netflix collects user data and recommends various movies and series based on the preferences of the user. Google utilizes machine learning to structure its results and for YouTube’s recommendation system, among many other applications. Amazon uses ML to place relevant products in the user’s field of view, maximizing conversion rates by recommending products that the user actually wants to buy.

However, as ML continues to be applied in various fields and use-cases, it becomes more important to know the difference between artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Learn More: 10 Businesses Using Machine Learning In Innovative Ways

Artificial Intelligence Vs. Machine Learning

As American professor Douglas Hofstadter quotes, “AI is whatever hasn’t been done yet.” This is referred to as the AI Effect, wherein new techniques not only obsolete previous ones but also make the latter much more accessible and optimized for use. By this logic, artificial intelligence refers to any advancement in the field of cognitive computers, with machine learning being a subset of AI.

Today, the term ‘artificial intelligence’ has been used as more of an umbrella term to denote technology that exhibits human-like cognitive characteristics. As a rule of thumb, research in AI is moving towards a more generalized form of intelligence, similar to the way toddlers think and perceive the world around them. This could mark the evolution of AI from a program purpose-built for a single ‘narrow’ task to a solution deployed for ‘general’ solutions; the kind we can expect from humans.

Machine learning, on the other hand, is an exclusive subset of AI reserved only for algorithms that can dynamically improve on themselves. They are not statically programmed for one task like many AI programs are, and can be improved even after they are deployed. This not only makes them suitable for enterprise applications, but it is also a novel way to solve problems in an always-changing environment.

Machine learning also includes deep learning, a specialized discipline that holds the key to the future of AI. Deep learning features neural networks, a type of algorithm that is based on the physical structure of the human brain. Neural networks seem to be the most productive path forward for AI research, as it allows for a much closer emulation of the human brain than has ever been seen before.

Learn More: 10 Experts on the Future of AI

Closing Thoughts for Techies

Understanding the basics of machine learning and artificial intelligence is a must for anyone working in the tech domain today. Due to the pervasiveness of AI in today’s tech world, working knowledge of this technology is required to stay relevant.

Corporates are now in the middle of the adoption curve for artificial intelligence, mainly due to accessible cloud platforms and exponential advancements in the field. This makes AI an interesting career opportunity for those who have the capability and experience to take it up. Since this field functions as a combination of statistics, computer science, and logical thinking, it is varied in what it can offer to new entrants. Moreover, a variety of positions such as data scientists, machine learning engineers, and AI developers offer choices to aspirants across verticals.