What do you do when your child is seriously ill? Most people will take their child to the closest hospital for emergency care or to see a specialist when the pediatrician suggests one. But what about once your child is stable and a diagnosis has been made? Do you stay at that hospital for treatment, or do you go to one that specializes in caring for what your child has?
As you consider treatment facilities for your child, keep the nation’s 10 best children’s hospitals in mind.
- Boston Children’s Hospital: This hospital ranked first in a recent list created by U.S. News because they ranked in the top 3 hospitals for cancer treatment, cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology, neonatal, nephrology, neurosurgery and orthopedics. Boston Children’s ranked #2 on a list created by Parents magazine, which looked at a much larger set of criteria.
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Ranking #1 on the Parents magazine list and #2 on the U.S. News list, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ranked in the top 3 for cancer, cardiology, diabetes, gastroenterology, nephrology, neurology, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center: This Cincinnati hospital ranked #3 in the U.S. News list and #4 in the Parents magazine list. The specialties where Cincinnati Children’s ranked in the top 3 include cancer, neonatal, and pulmonology. Parents scored them very high based on low mortality rates, different types of procedures performed, knowledgeableness of the staff, experience levels of the staff, and successful outcomes.
- Texas Children’s Hospital: This Houston based Children’s Hospital has come in at #4 on the U.S. News list and #7 on the Parents magazine list, scoring in the top 3 in the nation in cardiology, gastroenterology, neonatal, and pulmonology. Parents liked that this hospital had an 80% success rate with a treatment for Hodgkin’s disease, according to a study performed there.
- Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: This hospital ranked #3 on the Parents magazine list because their survey turned up that the staff at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee scored the highest of any other facility. Their intensive care nurses are required to pass a special test before working in the ICU, nurses must have 2 years of emergency room experience before performing triage, and any new doctors must get certified in pediatrics.
- St Louis Children’s Hospital: One of the few Midwest hospitals to make the list, the St. Louis Children’s Hospital ranked #5 on the Parents magazine list because they have performed the most lung transplants in the U.S. They are also giving special attention to kids with asthma, and these families are often given the number to a “coach” they can contact 24/7. This innovative step has cut their ER cases in half according to their chief medical officer. They also have 2,000 studies going on for conditions like SIDS and other childhood concerns, and they have a patented “swaddling sack” that prevents newborns from turning over during sleep. St. Louis tied with two other hospitals for #10 on the U.S. News list.
- Children’s Hospital of Atlanta: The Children’s Hospital of Atlanta did not make the list for U.S. News, but that is probably due to the fact that they did not look at bone marrow transplants. This hospital is noted for having a state-of-the-art air filtration system that allows kids with low immune systems, who might otherwise be confined to their rooms, to be able to wander down to the play area. They feel that this is one of the reasons that they have a 50% higher success rate on their bone marrow transplants than the national average.
- Children’s Hospital Colorado: Based in Aurora, Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado was ranked in at least one of the specialties that the U.S. News survey looked at, giving them the #8 rank. This hospital was not included on the list by Parents magazine.
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital: Also a teaching hospital, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital out of Columbus, Ohio excels in 10 pediatric specialties and ranked #9 on the U.S. News’ list. Nationwide, it ranked #6 on the Parents magazine list because this hospital is known for its success with a 3-part surgery to repair under-developed hearts. It is also known locally for seeing ER patients within 30 minutes from arrival, on average.
- Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, Cleveland: While not making the U.S. News top 10 list, their survey does report that Rainbow ranks #5 in neonatology, #5 in pulmonology, and #10 in orthopedics. Parents magazine ranked them in their top 10 because of their advances in neonatal ICU. Rainbow’s new wing will have private rooms with sleeping areas for the parents. They also boast a music specialist who is in charge of the soft sounds that lull infants to sleep. Another ground breaking advance found at Rainbow is a monitoring system that goes wirelessly to the nurse on duty, so as not to disturb others with beeping and alarms.