The best and worst hospitals in Italy: the ranking

The Agenas (National Agency for regional health services) presented in Rome a ranking of the best and worst hospitals in Italy. The selection of the structures involved all the Italian regions, with the exception of the autonomous ones, and a total of were included 53 hospitals out of a total of 1,004 present in the country. These hospitals, all public, include both university and non-university structures, and have been considered on the basis of their capacity, with a distinction between hospitals with more or less than 700 beds.

Indicators to evaluate hospitals

To evaluate the general performance of hospitals, Agenas considered 6 distinct indicators. First of all, the waiting time in emergency rooms within 8 hours. Furthermore, it was considered the compliance with waiting times for surgery established by law. Accounts were also taken into account high-risk hospitalization rates of inappropriateness, such as medical patients admitted to surgical wards. The financial and accounting management of the hospitals was assessed through the analysis of the balance sheets. Furthermore, the appropriate ratio between the number of doctors and nurses and the number of beds was considered. Finally, the obsolescence of the equipment was assessed, with a limit of 10 years.

From the evaluation of these indicators, it emerged that among the Italian hospitals considered, only 9 achieved high performance levels. There are 32 structures with a level considered medium and 12 hospitals with low levels. These results indicate that only a small percentage of hospitals are able to achieve high levels of performance.

The best hospitals in Italy: analysis and ranking

Out of 53 hospitals surveyed, 9 are considered to be top-rated. These are:

  • Siena University Hospital of Siena
  • Careggi Hospital in Florence
  • Pisana Hospital of Pisa
  • Hospital of Padua
  • The integrated Verona
  • Sant’Orsola Polyclinic of Bologna
  • S. Croce and Carle of Cuneo
  • Reunited Marche Nord
  • Mauritian Order of Turin

Looking at it from the point of view of the regions, three are in Tuscany, two are in Piedmont, two in Veneto, one in Emilia-Romagna and one in the Marche.

The worst hospitals in Italy: the ranking

Contrary to the top, the red dot hospitals have gone from 15 to 12, an improvement compared to 2019. In the ranking of hospitals with the lowest performance we find:

  • Cosenza hospital
  • San Pio (Benevento)
  • Sant’Anna and San Sebastiano (Caserta)
  • Reunited Villa Sofia Brain (Palermo)
  • Civic Hospital of Cristina Benfratelli (Palermo)
  • Cannizzaro (Catania)
  • San Giovanni Addolorata (Rome)
  • San Camillo Forlanini (Rome);
  • Luigi Vanvitelli (Naples)
  • Saint John of God Ruggi d’Aragona (Salerno)
  • Mother of God (Catanzaro)
  • Umberto I Polyclinic (Rome)

From the point of view of the regions, four are in Campania, three in Lazio, three in Sicily and two in Calabria.

The ranking actually takes into account waiting times for oncological operations, and in this area some hospitals performed worse than others. It is important to note that some hospitals, even among the best in Italy, may have low rankings for specific sectors. Similarly, the presence of obsolete machinery is often reflected in worse statistics regarding diagnosis times and diagnostic results.

In terms of ranking scores, one part comes from the experience of doctors and nurses, while another part can be influenced by politics. Since 2012, the Italian Regions appoint the director generals of hospitals from the national register, but in the end it is the president of the Region who approves the appointments, so the responsibility for the position in the ranking can also have a political component.

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