Top US Pediatric Hospitals for 2015-2016: US News

Troy Brown, RN

June 09, 2015

Boston Children's Hospital was the top-rated children's hospital in the United States for 2015 to 2016, ranking in the top 5% for all 10 specialties rated in the latest US News & World Report's annual rankings of the best pediatric hospitals.

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, US News rates 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.

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


Hospital rankings are based on three areas, with each area contributing one third of a hospital's score: clinical outcomes, such as cancer survival and infection rates; efficiency and coordination of the care delivery process, which included reputational survey results, compliance with "best practices," and infection control measures; and 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, multispecialty pediatric department [that] functions like a hospital within a hospital," according to a news release from US News. Of those pediatric centers, 109 hospitals provided enough information on the clinical survey to be considered for ranking in one or more specialties. Some data, including numbers of nurses and the extent and success of infection prevention programs, are relevant to all 10 specialties. Others, including complications from kidney biopsies and 5-year survival for certain cancers, are relevant to specific specialties.

The research firm also sent a reputational survey to pediatric specialists and subspecialists and analyzed the results from both surveys. The research firm asked approximately 8000 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 2800 surveyed physicians responded. Results from the reputational survey made up 16.7% of a hospital's score.

Honor Roll

US News places hospitals that score in the top 10% for at least three specialties on its Honor Roll. Hospitals earned 1 point for being in the top 10% for a given specialty and 2 points for being in the top 5% for that specialty. 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.

Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll

Rank Hospital Points Specialties
1 Boston Children's Hospital 20 10
2 Children's Hospital of Philadelphia 19 10
3 Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center 15 10
4 Texas Children's Hospital, Houston 12 6
5 Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora 7 6
6 Seattle Children's Hospital 7 5
7 Children's Hospital Los Angeles 6 5
8 Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC 6 4
9 Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio 5 5
10 Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC 5 3
11* Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago 3 3
11* Children's Healthcare of Atlanta 3 3



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