Children’s National again one of US News & World Report’s best hospitals for kids

A D.C. hospital has once again scored well in U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the nation’s best children’s hospitals.

And the one ranked second-best overall is just a few hours away.

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ranked second in the annual U.S. News Honor Roll, with D.C.’s Children’s National Hospital not far behind at seventh overall.

Dr. Kurt Newman, the president and CEO of Children’s National, noted that it marks the fifth year in a row that Children’s National has been ranked among the top 10 nationwide.

“It is always spectacular to be named one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals, but this year more than ever,” he said in a statement to WTOP.

“Every member of our organization helped us achieve this level of excellence, and they did it while sacrificing so much in order to help our country respond to, and recover from, the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Boston Children’s Hospital topped the U.S. News Honor Roll for the eighth consecutive year.



U.S. News and RTI International — a research and consulting firm — analyzed more than 100 children’s hospitals nationwide for its annual rankings.

For the first time this year, they were ranked by state and by region, too. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia topped the regional rankings of 18 Mid-Atlantic hospitals, and Children’s National was second.

“[Parents] need a great hospital, but they also need one that’s convenient and close to where they live in many cases,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News.

“Parents need to bring their child back for follow-up care repeatedly throughout the course of their childhood, so being able to establish care and an excellent children’s hospital that’s also conveniently located to where they live is really important.”

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, in Baltimore, was tops in Maryland; and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital, in Charlottesville, topped the commonwealth’s rankings. They were ranked fourth and seventh, respectively, in the Mid-Atlantic region.

“There are a large number of excellent children’s hospitals in the Mid-Atlantic,” Harder said, “and most urban centers have at least one strong children’s hospital throughout the region.”

Children’s hospitals were ranked across 10 specialties: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and lung surgery; and urology.

“Our rankings are intended to provide what we call ‘decision support’ for parents, to help them make a decision about where to get care for a sick child,” Harder said. “That’s why we rank hospitals not only regionally but also in 10 different pediatric specialties.”

Children’s National topped the overall rankings in one specialty — neonatology — and was among the top six in four other specialties: cancer; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery, and orthopedics.

By comparison, Boston Children’s topped the rankings in four specialties, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia topped the rankings in three.

A third of each hospital’s score was tied to “outcomes such as survival, infections and surgical complications,” U.S. News said. Outcomes were weighed more heavily (38.3%) in the cardiology and heart surgery category. A hospital’s reputation, based on an annual survey of pediatric experts, made up another 15% (8.5% in the cardiology and heart surgery category). The rest of the score factored in commitment to patient safety, excellence and family centeredness.

You can see the latest children’s hospital rankings in detail on the U.S. News website.

Jack Pointer

Jack Pointer is a writer and editor with a variety of news and publishing experience, including more than a decade at The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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