The Best Children's Hospitals, According to US News

Megan Brooks


June 26, 2018

For the fifth year in a row, Boston Children's Hospital is the number 1 pediatric hospital, according to latest rankings of best children's hospitals by US News & World Report.

Ten hospitals earned a place on the magazine's 2018-2019 honor roll, with a few changes from last year. Taking the number 2 spot this year is Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, up from number 3 in last year's ranking, while Children's Hospital of Philadelphia drops to number 3 this year, down from number 2 last year.

Texas Children's Hospital, Houston, remains in the number 4 spot. Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, made the biggest jump, going from number 9 to number 5 on the honor roll.

Children's Hospital of Colorado is a newcomer to the top 10 this year, taking the number 9 spot from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, which dropped out of the top 10 this year. Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago dropped from number 7 to number 10 on the latest ranking.

2018-2019 Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll

  1. Boston Children's Hospital

  2. Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

  3. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

  4. Texas Children's Hospital, Houston

  5. Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC

  6. Children's Hospital Los Angeles

  7. Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

  8. Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore

  9. Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora

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

Each year, US News ranks the top 10 pediatric hospitals for each of 10 specialties: cancer, cardiology & heart surgery, diabetes & endocrinology, gastroenterology & GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.

The top children's hospitals in the 10 specialties are as follows:

  • Cancer: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

  • Cardiology & heart surgery: Texas Children's Hospital

  • Diabetes & endocrinology: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

  • Gastroenterology & GI surgery: Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

  • Neonatology: Children's National Medical Center

  • Nephrology: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Neurology & neurosurgery: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Orthopedics: Boston Children's Hospital

  • Pulmonology: Texas Children's Hospital

  • Urology: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

"Having a child who is born with or develops a serious illness is one of the most difficult situations a parent can face," Ben Harder, chief of health analysis at US News, said in a news release.

"Our Best Children's Hospitals rankings are designed with parents and young patients in mind. By having access to the most comprehensive data available to supplement guidance from their pediatrician, families are able to make better-informed decisions about where to seek high-quality care for their children," said Harder.

For this year's rankings, US News analyzed clinical data from 189 pediatric centers, of which 86 were ranked among the top 50 in at least one specialty. 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.

The methodology reflects clinical outcomes, such as patient survival, infection rates, and complications; the level and quality of hospital resources directly related to patient care, such as staffing, technology, and special services; delivery of healthcare, such as programs that prevent infections and adherence to best practices; and expert opinion among pediatric specialists.

The full report is available online.

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