By Sara Cheshire
Special to CNN
(CNN) -- Looking for the best hospitals in the United States? U.S. News & World Report has released its annual rankings for 2014 -- with the Mayo Clinic topping the site's honor roll list for the first time.
The yearly analysis specifically looks at the best medical centers for patients with life-threatening or rare conditions. Factors such as patient survival rates, adequate nursing staff, reputation with specialist physicians and patient safety, which has more emphasis this year, are taken into account.
"U.S. News strives to provide patients and their families with the most comprehensive data available on hospitals," said Avery Comarow, U.S. News health rankings editor. "With an estimated 400,000 deaths occurring in hospitals each year from medical errors, measuring safety performance is critical to understanding how well a hospital cares for its patients."
In addition to an overall ranking, the report also breaks down the best hospitals into 16 specialties, including the best hospitals for cancer and heart surgery.
All the rankings can be viewed on usnews.com. Highlights include:
Best overall hospitals
1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 2. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore 4. Cleveland Clinic 5. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles
Best cancer hospitals
1. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York 2. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston 3. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 4. Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center, Boston 5. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
Best cardiology and heart surgery hospitals
1. Cleveland Clinic 2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 3. New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell, New York 4. Duke University Hospital, Durham, North Carolina 5. Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
For less life-threatening conditions, U.S. News and World Report recommends that patients use the best regional hospitals list.
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