Recently we noted a press release from The Ottawa Hospital celebrating the fact that they were ranked number six among Canada’s research hospitals.
Last year The Ottawa Hospital was also number six.
The rankings come from a private company called RE$EARCH Infosource Inc. The dollar sign in “research” is not a mistake.
We asked RE$EARCH Infosource the basis of their rankings, especially given questions over the validity of other private sector rankings, such as the Maclean’s magazine ranking of Universities.
RE$EARCH Infosource never got back to us.
The list mostly appears to be based on the volume of money the hospitals attract for research, although it is not entirely uniform.
University Health Network tops the list. They attracted a staggering $267 million in research funding last year. UHN is affiliated with the Ontario Cancer Institute, Toronto General Research Institute, and Toronto Western Research Institute.
The second ranked hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, actually recorded less money for research, dropping to $180 million in 2010 from $191 million the year before.
While Ontario had six out of ten hospitals at the top of the list, the big increases in research money primarily went to hospitals in BC and Quebec.
The British Columbia cancer agency was the biggest mover up the rankings, having doubled its research funding from $41 million to $81 million.
Does attracting more money than other research hospitals make you more of an innovation leader? Or does it mean you are better at attracting research dollars? Is there any point to this beyond flattering the hospitals at the top, all potential customers for the private company.