Children’s National scores high in US News’ rankings of pediatric hospitals

U.S. News & World Report has unveiled its 2019-2020 rankings of the nation’s best children’s hospitals, and two regional institutions made the top 10 overall.

Children’s National Medical Center in D.C. (No. 6) and Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore (No. 9) were listed on U.S. News’ “Honor Roll,” and both distinguished themselves in all of the 10 specialties examined.

“That’s phenomenal when you think about the fact that there are thousands of hospitals in the country that treat pediatric patients, that treat sick children,” said Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at U.S. News & World Report.

“In almost 200 hospitals that specialize in treating sick children, to have two of the best 10 in the country here in the Baltimore-Washington region is impressive.”

Boston Children’s Hospital again claimed the No. 1 spot for the sixth consecutive year.

The rankings are designed to help parents who might be seeking treatment for complex, rare pediatric conditions. U.S. News evaluated 125 facilities in 10 areas: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology and lung surgery; and urology.

Eighty-four of the hospitals evaluated were ranked in the Top 50 in at least one specialty. The hospitals that made the “Honor Roll” were found to “deliver exceptionally high-quality care across multiple specialties.”

Children’s National, for instance, was ranked in the Top 50 in all 10 specialties, and was No. 1 in neonatology (i.e., newborn intensive care). It was ranked No. 5 in neurology and neurosurgery; No. 6 in nephrology; and ninth in both the pulmonology and cancer specialties.

“I’m proud that our rankings continue to cement our standing as among the best children’s hospitals in the nation,” said Dr. Kurt Newman, Children’s National’s president and CEO, in a statement. “In addition to these service lines, today’s recognition honors countless specialists and support staff who provide unparalleled, multidisciplinary patient care.”

Johns Hopkins, too, was ranked in the Top 50 in all 10 specialties, with a No. 5 ranking in the cancer specialty, and No. 8 rankings both in the urology and in the neurology and neurosurgery specialties.

Other regional institutions that won a ranking were the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital in Baltimore (ranked 32nd in cardiology and heart surgery) and the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville (ranked in the Top 50 in eight specialties).

About 15,000 physicians were surveyed as part of the research.

“These are pediatric experts … who tell us where they would send their sickest and most challenging patients,” Harder said.

U.S. News’ methodology also factored in such measures as patient outcomes along with clinical resources and best-practices compliance.

“We look at a number of things ranging from hand washing and making sure that infections are prevented to what sort of treatments the hospital can provide to children who have rare conditions or particularly complex pediatric illnesses,” Harder said.

U.S. News stresses that the rankings should be considered a “starting point” in finding the right place for care, noting that no size fits all and that parents should also weigh other considerations, such as proximity and an insurer’s willingness to cover care.

Find the complete list of rankings on the U.S. News website.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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