Top 20 Again!

  • Summer 2021

Brookings hospital

Brookings Health System recently received three honors, including being named a 2021 Top 20 Rural Community Hospital in the United States, the only hospital in South Dakota to achieve the honor in 2021. 

top 20 logo2021 is the fourth time in five years the National Rural Health Association (NRHA) has named Brookings Health to the elite Top 20 list. The health system was recognized at an awards ceremony during NRHA’s Rural Hospital Innovation Summit on May 21 in San Diego. The NRHA honors the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system hospitals in the country based on an evaluation by The Chartis Center for Rural Health using iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. 

“The fact that we remained a Top 20 hospital during such a challenging year speaks volumes about our team’s dedication to providing high-quality, compassionate, personalized health care to our patients,” said President and CEO Jason Merkley. “Our community can feel proud about the caliber of health care available locally from our excellent team of medical specialists, health care professionals and ancillary staff.”

In addition, for the sixth consecutive year Brookings Health has been included by The Chartis Center for Rural Health on the Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals list. The annual award honors rural hospital performance also as determined by the results of iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. 

Based entirely on publicly available data, the INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Utilizing 50 independent indicators, the INDEX assesses performance across eight pillars of performance that span market-, value- and finance-based categories. Hospitals recognized as a Top 20 facility had one of the 20 highest overall scores among all Rural & Community Hospitals nationally, automatically qualifying them in the Top 100 category.

The list of this year’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals, as well as the 2021 INDEX methodology, can be found at 

Brookings Health System was also awarded on Newsweek’s list of World’s Best Hospitals 2021. This prestigious award is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc., the world-leading statistics portal and industry ranking provider. The awards list was announced on Mar. 3 and can currently be viewed on Newsweek’s website.

Brookings Health ranks 306 of the Best Hospitals 2021 in the United States. Newsweek and Statista developed a complex methodology to ensure the quality and validity of the ranking. Three data sources were used for the evaluation:

  • Hospital recommendations from peers: an international online survey that included more than 74,000 doctors, hospital managers and health care professionals
  • Patient experience: surveys measuring patient satisfaction with hospitals
  • Medical key performance indicators (KPIs): patient safety, hygiene measures, and quality of treatment

Learn more about Brookings Health System’s care quality at