Top-Rated Pediatric Hospitals in the US

Troy Brown, RN

June 21, 2016

Boston Children's Hospital was the top-rated children's hospital in the United States for 2016-2017, ranking in the top 5% for eight of 10 pediatric specialties in the US News & World Report's 10th annual rankings of the best pediatric hospitals.

Each year, US News ranks the top 10 pediatric 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.

"Families with sick children face so many uphill battles," Avery Comarow, US News health rankings editor, said in a news release. "By recognizing hospitals that offer the best pediatric care, we hope we can offer families important help when they are going through an exceptionally overwhelming time."

Eleven hospitals made it on the Honor Roll, meaning they performed at the highest levels in at least three specialties. The top hospital, once again this year, was Boston Children's Hospital, which earned the top place in eight of the 10 specialties, followed by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

1. Boston Children's Hospital

2. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

3. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

4. Texas Children's Hospital, Houston

5. Seattle Children's Hospital

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

7. Children's Hospital Los Angeles

8. Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC

9. Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora

10. Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA

11. Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio


The top children's hospitals in 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: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

  • Gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Neonatology: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Nephrology: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Neurology and neurosurgery: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Orthopedics: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Pulmonology: Texas Children's Hospital, Houston

  • Urology: Boston Children's Hospital


For this year's rankings, US News analyzed clinical data from 183 pediatric centers as well as the surveyed opinions of almost 11,000 pediatric specialists and subspecialists. RTI International, a research and consulting firm based in North Carolina, collected the data and analyzed the results with assistance from more than 100 medical directors, pediatric specialists, and other experts. US News rated 106 hospitals and ranked 78 in at least one specialty.

US News ranks the 50 top-scoring hospitals in each of the 10 specialties numerically, considering measures such as clinical outcomes, efficiency and coordination of care delivery, infection control, reputation, and compliance with "best practices." They added others, such as accreditation for bone marrow transplant to just one or two specialties. This year US News adds "valuable performance information" for unranked hospitals, which they have been doing for years for adult hospitals.

US News lists pediatric hospitals and their calculated metrics without rank or score if they gave enough data in the clinical survey to be evaluated in a specialty.

This year, the magazine made four important changes to its analysis: 1) they reduced the weight of the reputation survey from 16.7% to 15%; 2) they now display data for unranked hospitals; 3) they added lung transplant survival as an outcome measure for pulmonology; and, 4) they credit hospitals for data transparency if they publicly report outcomes for pediatric heart surgery via the website of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

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