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Children's Health

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U.S. News Ranks Best Children's Hospitals

By Megan Brooks
Medscape Medical News

June 11, 2014 -- Boston Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia tied for first place in the latest U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of the best U.S. pediatric hospitals, released Tuesday.

The two hospitals have consistently topped the rankings. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia was No. 1 and Boston Children's was No. 2 in the 2013–2014 rankings. A year earlier, the two hospitals were tied.

The 2014–2015 honor roll highlights pediatric centers that provide high-quality care in three or more specialties. Both Boston and Philadelphia posted outstanding scores in all 10 specialties.

Making the honor roll this year:

1. Boston Children's Hospital

1. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

3. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

4. Texas Children's Hospital, Houston

5. Children's Hospital Los Angeles

6. Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora

7. Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

8. Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

9. Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

10. Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore

"Finding care for a child with a life-threatening or rare condition is one of the most overwhelming experiences parents face," says Ben Harder, managing editor of health care analysis at U.S. News & World Report. "We hope the rankings and information in 'Best Children's Hospitals' help make a family's search for the best care possible for their child a little easier."

How the Hospitals Were Ranked

The magazine has ranked pediatric hospitals each year since 2007. They say the methods behind the new rankings underwent changes this year, and they highlight two in a statement: The scoring weight for infection prevention and use of "best practices" was increased, and the weight of hospital reputation was decreased. Survival rates, adequacy of nurse volume, and procedure volume are also among the considerations.

"Each year, we strive to hone the methodology and improve the rankings' usefulness to families," says Avery Comarow, the magazine's health rankings editor. "With the input of working groups of pediatric medical experts, we've made these changes to better measure care in each specialty."

According to U.S. News & World Report', 83.3% of each hospital's score relied on patient outcomes and the care-related resources each hospital makes available. The remaining 16.7% was derived from 3 years of responses to an annual survey of 150 pediatric specialists and sub-specialists in each specialty.

To gather clinical data, the magazine sent a clinical questionnaire to 183 pediatric hospitals. The doctors were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty, setting aside location and expense.

Hospitals were ranked in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.

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