U.S. News and World Report’s 2019-2020 ranking has rated Altru Health System as the best hospital in North Dakota and the top hospital in the Red River Valley.

The publication’s Best Hospital analysis reviews nearly 5,000 hospitals' performance in adult and pediatric clinical specialties, procedures and conditions. U.S News and World Report analyzes data from more than 30,000 physicians to rank hospitals in 16 adult specialties, including cancer, diabetes and rheumatology.

The scores that hospitals receive are based on several criteria, including patient outcomes, patient safety and nurse staffing. Scores are ranked regionally within states.

North Dakota has 47 licensed and certified general acute-care hospitals, according to the Center for Rural Health at UND. Sanford Medical Center-Bismarck was ranked second best hospital in North Dakota in U.S. and World Report’s 2019-2020 report. CHI St. Alexis-Health Bismarck and Sanford Medical Center-Fargo both were third best hospital in North Dakota in the publication’s 2019-20 ranking.

“I think it’s wonderful to be recognized,” said Dr. Steven Weiser, Altru chief medical officer. Whether or not Altru is honored, though, the hospital’s 4,000 employees strive every day to deliver world-class health service, he said.

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The employees are the hospital’s greatest asset, Weiser said.

“Everybody understands how important it is when you take care of a family,” he said. “Working as a group and supporting each other’s strengths and weaknesses, that is our core value.”

Besides the No. 1 ranking for Red River Valley hospitals, Altru was awarded high performing rankings in the adult specialty of pulmonology and lung surgery and in procedures and conditions, including abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, heart failure and colon cancer surgery.

The high performance rank in those areas is gratifying because Altru has worked to provide its patients with positive outcomes, Weiser said.

“That’s obviously created a better quality of life and lower morbidity,” he said.

Meanwhile, Altru is proud of its success performing more than 700 hip and knee replacements using robotic arm technology. Using the technology has resulted in shorter hospital stays for patients, Weiser said.

Altru won’t rest on its laurels and will continue to strive to give its patients high-quality care, he said.

“I’m very proud of the achievements we do day in and day out, and the initiatives we work to improve on, every day,” he said. “As a Grand Forks guy I’m firmly committed to make our community hospital and our organization better every day. … We take the sickest of the sick and the poorest of the poor every day.

“I think this community has a unique integrated health care system here that not all communities have.”