The U.S.News & World Report list of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals includes St. Louis Children’s Hospital/Washington University for the 11th consecutive year. The annual report evaluated hospitals in 10 specialty care areas. St. Louis Children’s ranked in the top 10 in four of those specialties, qualifying it for the prestigious Honor Roll. Only 10 pediatric hospitals nationwide received such a distinction.
Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in Missouri to make the Honor Roll.
“St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Washington University deserve the highest praise,” said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “Being listed in the Honor Roll shows how dedication and expertise can span multiple specialties. U.S.News wants to call attention to pediatric centers that help the sickest kids across a wide range of medical problems.”
Across the country, 87 hospitals ranked in one or more specialties. St. Louis Children’s ranked in all 10: neurology and neurosurgery (#2), neonatology/newborn medicine (#3), orthopedics (#6), pulmonology (#8), cardiology and heart surgery (#14), cancer (#15), nephrology (#21), diabetes and endocrinology (#22), gastroenterology (#18), and urology (#22). The majority of the report is based on detailed quality information including survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure volume, and much more.
Hospital reputation, based on a survey of pediatric specialists and subspecialists, is also taken into account. Since its 2007 debut, the rankings have put an increasing emphasis on data that directly reflect hospitals’ performance over reputation.
“We are delighted the professionals who track clinical excellence nationwide recognize what we see every day: a team of physicians and staff who consistently give our patients and families the best care pediatric medicine can offer,” says Joan Magruder, St. Louis Children’s Hospital president. “And while we care for children across our community and region, we continue to grow as a destination center for families around our country and the world seeking the highest quality care.”
The hospital’s success draws from its ability to provide more than today’s best medicine. “We provide tomorrow’s medicine,” explains Dr. Alan Schwartz, Chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine and Pediatrician-in-Chief at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. “St. Louis Children’s Hospital provides an immediate application for some of the most promising scientific discoveries at Washington University School of Medicine, its academic partner.” The hospital’s medical staff includes over 500 Washington University pediatric specialists.
“We believe a number of factors helped elevate us in the rankings,” says Dr. F. Sessions Cole, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Newborn Medicine at St. Louis Children’s and Washington University School of Medicine. “Over the last year, we’ve implemented new strategies to reduce blood stream infections, with dramatic results across our patient population. Additionally, we offer transport services for the most critical babies, those on ECMO heart and lung support, a service offered at only a handful of hospitals.”
This year, U.S.News surveyed 179 pediatric centers to obtain hard data such as availability of key resources and ability to prevent complications and infections. The hospital survey made up 75% of the rankings. A separate reputational survey in which 1,500 pediatric specialists—150 in each specialty—were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty made up the remaining 25%.
The full rankings and methodology are available at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals. The rankings are published in the U.S.News Best Hospitals 2014 guidebook, available in August.