The Keystone State features several of the best medical facilities in the US. If you’re lucky, you have never been in a Pennsylvania hospital, with the possible exception of when you were born. But if you’re like most residents, you probably have been a patient at least a few times. Maybe having your tonsils removed or perhaps having a minor surgery. It’s not fun, but hospitals save lives and we are very fortunate to have some of the best facilities in the East..
We have listed (alphabetically) the eight top hospitals in Pennsylvania. We performed our own research, taking into consideration, patient satisfaction, survival rates, costs, community availability and network coverage by health insurance companies. And, of course, there are hundreds of choices that didn’t make the list, although they are great facilities. Also available are our rankings by specialty, patient safety comparisons, quality patient care rankings, and adult and pediatric ratings.
Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh joins UPMC in delivering a 1-2 punch to Western Pa residents. 29 counties receive service including portions of Ohio, West Virginia, and New York. This teaching facility that specializes in adult treatment, is part of the West Penn Allegheny Health System. Other hospitals in the same system include Allegheny Valley, Canonsburg General, Forbes Hospice, Forbes Regional Jefferson, Saint Vincent, Westfield Memorial, and West Penn. With more than 500 beds and 5,000 staff employees, more than 20,000 patients are admitted each year, and more than 20,000 surgical procedures are annually performed. 800 physicians are also available.
Specialties include allergy and immunology, bariatrics, cancer, cardiology, endocrinology, infectious disease, internal medicine, liver and bile duct surgery, nephrology, neurology, orthopedics, reconstructive and plastic surgery, rheumatology, transplants, and vascular surgery. Graduate and undergraduate students are trained by highly-qualified faculty and clinical programs that provide a great foundation for a career in medicine. Nursing and pharmacy students also receive training. Disease-specific “comprehensive centers” provide extensive treatment for diabetes, digestive health, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, orthopedic surgery, sports medicine, and strokes.
Patient, medical and nursing education are just a small part of the research and teaching that is part of the daily routine. There are also three very respected institutes (Orthopedic/Rehab, Cancer, Cardiovascular and Neuroscience) that help shape its well-earned reputation. Also, the Allegheny-Singer Research Institute (ASRI) is an award-winning research facility. Recent accolades for their services have been recognized by US News And World Report, Consumer Reports, AARP, and Healthgrades.
Currently, AGH is the top-rated hospital in Western Pennsylvania for medical excellence in organ and heart transplants, and patient safety in gall bladder removal, stroke care, heart attack treatment, and trauma care. Typically, Allegheny is considered of the nation’s top 100 hospitals. They are also rated highly for patient safety in major neurosurgery. Clinical and academic affiliations include Temple University School of Medicine, Allegheny Health Network Research Institute, Drexel University College of Medicine, West Penn School of Nursing, and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center At Johns Hopkins.
Fox Chase Cancer Center is the only facility in the Philadelphia area that specializes in treatment, prevention and research of cancer. As part of the Temple Health system, they are one of 40 NCI (National Cancer Institute) facilities in the US. And two scientists from Fox have won the Nobel Prize. Originally established in 1904, this facility was one of the first US hospitals to focus on Cancer treatment and research. Locations include the main campus in Philadelphia, Buckingham, Huntingdon Pike, Fox Chase Cancer Center at Temple University, and Jeanes Hospital.
Research facilities provide support to other programs at Fox. Several of the facilities include animal research, biotechnology, cell biology, clinical research, computing and information, and genetic research. Typically, the best health insurance plans in Pennsylvania include Fox in their network. This includes Independence Blue Cross and Keystone plans.
Advanced treatments and innovation in cancer treatment and discoveries are why many persons choose this facility. Two Fox Chase scientists have earned Nobel Prizes, and many other employees have been nationally recognized. Other study areas include cell biology, computing information, and animal, clinical, and genetic research. The merger with portions of the Temple University Health System has increased development and research in molecular biology, cancer prevention and control, and oncology research.
There is also a separate women’s facility (also the first in the area) that specializes in breast and gynecologic cancer. Treatment, care and education are all provided at the same location. In addition to the doctor and nursing excellence awards that have been received, diversity is heavily promoted. They have been nationally recognized by Consumer Reports and US News. Several significant contributions include increasing cervical cancer screening rates, discovering a new tumor suppressor syndrome, reprogramming tumor cells, developing a vaccine for Hepatitis B, and finding the “Philadelphia Chromosome.”
Lehigh Valley Hospital is located in Allentown and began in 1899 with the first hospital. Muhlenberg Hospital began operating in 1961 and served the chronically ill. Now, 95 clinical specialties are offered through eight main locations. 20 ExpressCARE locations provide walk-in service with no needed appointments. A medical school partnership with the University Of South Florida Morsani College Of Medicine allows students to spend two years at the Florida facility.
The Lehigh Valley Health Network offers services in eight counties. Included in the network are locations in Salisbury Township, Hazleton, Allentown, Pottsville, East Stroudsburg, Easton, Emmaus, Quakertown, Fleetwood, Hamburg, and Bethlehem. With more than 1000 staff physicians and 40 local clinics to serve persons that are uninsured, it’s one of the finest medical facilities in the area. Commonly referred to as “LVPG,” they perform 70% more surgical procedures than any other nearby hospital.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid along with numerous other organizations have recognized the excellence of Lehigh Valley. They are also the first Pa hospital to receive 100% accreditation from AAHHRP, which bases the award (in part), to safety standards in research. Note: visits can also be made through video visits, which are available 24/7. A smart device and internet connection are needed. Common minor illnesses that are treated include ear pain, cough, flu, sore throat, ear pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center is located in the University section in the Philadelphia area, and is well-known for their work in adult specialty treatment. It’s part of the University of Pennsylvania and is a non-profit entity. It has substantially expanded in the last few decades and now has a high percentage of private rooms. Also included is the Penn Medicine’s Level One Trauma Center and the Pavilion For Advanced Care. Penn Medicine University City is also part of the campus.
One of the initial coronary care units originated from this facility and current specialties include (but are not limited to) family medicine, radiology, cardiology and internal medicine. Lately, they have become a standout in the field of robotic assisted surgery. Apparently, others in the field are noticing as evidenced by their high national rankings. Research areas include clinical trials and translational research. Additional specialty areas are liquid biopsy diagnostic tools and precision medicine.
The Scheie Eye Institute is located inside the Medical Center, and is one of the top-rated research facilities for the treatment of eye disorders. Significant funding is received from the National Eye Institute. Dr. Harold G. Scheie was the school’s initial resident, and eventually became a department head.
Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is the only Pa facility that is accredited as a pediatric and adult Level 1 trauma center. In 1967, the medical school began operations, and three years later, the medical center treated its first patients. Currently, more than 500 beds are available with more than 30,000 surgeries performed, and 70,000 ER patients treated each year. More than 1,100 physicians and 2,200 nurses are on a staff of more than 12,000 employees. More than 60 group practices also provide treatment.
The six Penn State institutes are Heart And Vascular, Personalized Medicine, Cancer, Bone And Joint, Neuroscience, and Clinical And Translational Science. With an annual budget of almost $2 billion, extensive research is performed with award-winning results. The University Technology Center provides data analytics, and the Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute provides customized mental health treatment for Seniors, adults, and children.
Many waiting areas and lounges are conveniently located throughout the facility. The surgical waiting room is located on the first floor. Dining options include Starbucks, Tree House Cafe, Au Bon Pain, and the Main Hospital Cafe. Free internet access is available in all areas, and all rooms have a telephone.
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson form one of the premier medical teaching institutions in the east. Located in Philadelphia, it has more than 900 acute care beds, employs more than 9,000 persons, and holds the CARF accreditation for rehabilitation. They have been noted for their excellence in ear, nose and throat treatment along with diabetes and cancer. Founded in 1825, they are one of the oldest and most reliable institutions in Pa. Additional recognized specialties include orthopedics, cancer, geriatrics, urology, cardiology, heart surgery, and ophthalmology.
They have five locations including their main Center City Campus location on South 11th St. In addition to the best medical care, patients also have access to hair care service and many other amenities that sometimes make you feel as if you are in a hotel. A new set of rooms was recently built at the Gibbon Building. Patient lifts, glass doors instead of curtains and flat screen TVs are just a few of the features.
Specialties include orthopedics, cancer, ear, nose, and throat, ophthalmology, women’s health, urology, and nephrology. The campus is completely smoke-free, including parking lots. Jefferson Health is also the home of Sidney Kimmel Medical College. Telehealth services are provided to doctors to quickly treat selected patients.
University Of Pennsylvania Hospital is the top-rated facility in the Philadelphia area. It’s a widely-respected teaching institution with almost 800 beds. Some of its leading specialties include treatment of cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, gynecology and gastroenterology. Private, semi-private, and deluxe rooms are offered, along with grooming and beauty services, pastoral care, and several eating areas. One of the top local insurers, Keystone is popular in the area and their rates can be found here. Typically, their individual and family rates are very affordable.
The first medical school in the US was established here more than 200 years ago. This facility’s contributions and achievements have been recognized throughout the world and still continue in the 21st century. Whether its clinical care, treating patients or teaching students, world class treatment is always the norm.The first general vaccine against pneumonia and the discovery of the Philadelphia chromosome are several of many accomplishments.
Several clinical programs include Anesthesiology, Behavioral Health, Breast-Imaging Services, Brain Tumor Center, Emergency Medicine, Family Planning and Pregnancy Loss, Fertility, Heart and Vascular, IVC Filter Removal, Musculoskeletal Imaging and Medicine, Neurocritical Care, Neurosurgery, Obstetrics, Occupational Medicine, Pain Rehabilitation, Prematurity Prevention, Radiology, Sports Rehabilitation, and Vascular Medicine.
“The Pavilion” will open in 2021 as a new inpatient hospital at the location of the old Penn Tower. 500 patient rooms (very spacious with private baths), in-room technology, and 47 operating rooms will be featured in the facility. Patients will have a much broader access to their friends and family members. Currently, multi-specialty centers offer procedures, treatments, and prescriptions at a single location. Several of these locations include Yardley, Cherry Hill, Radnor, West Grove, Berwyn, and Woodbury Heights.
UPMC University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is part of the UPMC system, a non-profit enterprise based in Pittsburgh and also the state’s largest employer. Annually recognized as one of the finest facilities in the US, the Medical Center has more than 1500 beds and performs more than 50,000 surgeries each year. Add more than 100,000 ER visits and the fact that the parent company also offers health insurance, it’s not surprising that UPMC is so popular. Also, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC is consistently rated as one of the 10 best pediatric medical facilities in the US. More than 30 hospitals and 700 additional medical offices and facilities are part of the vast network.
Some of the specialty treatments that the Medical Center has achieved high national ratings for, include neurology and neurosurgery, cancer, pulmonology, psychiatry, urology and orthopedics. They are also involved in many community programs such as “Meals On Wheels” and various health fairs throughout Western Pa. Magee-Women’s Hospital (part of UPMC) could also be listed separately, but we’ll include it with UPMC since the parent company is the same. NOTE: Jonas Salk, while working at Pitt, was credited with discovering the vaccine for polio.
The international division provides services and treatment outside of the US. Construction and design of new hospitals and increasing the efficiency of existing facilities helps patients in many countries. Their global network provides cancer care and transplant assistance in Italy, facilities in Singapore, pathology help in China, ER coverage in Qatar, and cancer treatment in Ireland. International program specialties include health care management, visionary experience, nurse observership, and physician observership.
Other UPMC Hospital locations are Altoona (620 Howard Avenue), Bedford (10455 Lincoln Highway), Chautauqua (207 Foote Avenue), Children’s (4401 Penn Avenue), Cole (1001 E. Second Street), East (2775 Mosside Boulevard), Hamot (201 State Street), Horizon (Greenville and Shenango Valley), Jameson (1211 Wilmington Avenue), Kane (4372 Route 6), Magee-Women’s Hospital (300 Halkert Street), McKeesport (1500 Fifth Avenue), Mercy (1400 Locust Street), Montefiore (3459 Fifth Avenue), Northwest (100 Fairfield Drive), Passavant (9100 Babcock Boulevard), Pinnacle (various locations), Presbyterian (200 Lothrop Street), Shadyside (5230 Centre Avenue), Somerset (225 South Center Avenue), St. Margaret (815 Freeport Road), Susquehanna (six locations), and Western Psychiatric (3811 O’Hara Street).
We could have easily expanded our list from 7 to 20 since there are so many outstanding hospitals in Pennsylvania. Additional highly-ranked facilities include Lancaster General. St Lukes University Hospital – Bethlehem Campus, Lankenau Medical Center, Jefferson Health – Abington Hospital, Reading Hospital, Chester County Hospital, Doylestown Hospital, WellSpan York Hospital, Bryn Mawr Hospital, and St. Clair Hospital.