Top U.S. Children’s Hospitals Ranked

From the WebMD Archives

June 10, 2015 -- Boston Children's Hospital is No. 1 in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report's latest annual rankings of the best pediatric hospitals. It ranks in the top 5% for all 10 specialties rated.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center ranked in the top 5% for nine specialties and in the top 10% for one specialty.

Each year, U.S. Newsrates the top 10 children's hospitals for each of 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.

Hospitals that score in the top 10% for at least three specialties go on U.S. News’ honor roll. Although 83 of the hospitals were ranked in the top 50 in at least one specialty, just 12 of them made the honor roll by having high scores in three or more specialties.

The Honor Roll includes:

1. Boston Children’s Hospital (10 specialties)

2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (10 specialties)

3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (10 specialties)

4. Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston (6 specialties)

5. Children’s Hospital Colorado, Aurora (6 specialties)

6. Seattle Children’s Hospital (5 specialties)

7. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (5 specialties)

8. Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (4 specialties)

9. Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH (5 specialties)

10. Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, D.C. (3 specialties)

11. Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (3 specialties) (tie)

11. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (3 specialties) (tie)

The top children's hospitals in each of the 10 specialties are:

Cancer: Dana-Farber Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

Cardiology and heart surgery: Boston Children's Hospital

Diabetes and endocrinology: Boston Children's Hospital

Gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery: Boston Children's Hospital

Neonatology: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Nephrology: Boston Children's Hospital

Neurology and neurosurgery: Boston Children's Hospital

Orthopedics: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Pulmonology: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

Urology: Boston Children's Hospital

How the Scoring Works

Hospital rankings are based on three areas, with each area contributing one third of a hospital's score:

  • Health outcomes such as cancer survival and infection rates
  • Efficiency and coordination of the care delivery process, compliance with "best practices," and infection control measures
  • Resources related to care, such as adequate nursing staff and availability of programs tailored to specific illnesses and conditions

RTI International, a North Carolina-based research and consulting firm, sent a lengthy clinical survey to 184 selected pediatric centers, most of which are members of the Children's Hospital Association and are "either a freestanding children's hospital or a large, multi-specialty pediatric department [that] functions like a hospital within a hospital," according to a news release from U.S. News.

Of those pediatric centers, 109 hospitals provided enough information on the clinical survey to be considered for ranking in one or more specialties. The research firm also sent a reputation survey to pediatric specialists and subspecialists and analyzed the results from both surveys. The research firm asked about 8, 000 pediatric specialists in the 10 specialties to name up to 10 hospitals in their specialty that they consider best for children with serious or difficult problems, regardless of price or location. Almost 2, 800 surveyed doctors responded. Results from the reputation survey made up 16.7% of a hospital's score.