Boston Children's, CHOP again crowned as top-ranked pediatric hospitals by U.S. News

Boston Children’s Hospital has notched its eighth consecutive year at the top of U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the country’s best children’s hospitals.

According to the 2021-22 rankings, released today, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) reprised its runner-up spot on the Honor Roll, a list of 10 providers credited with top-tier care across multiple specialties.

Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston inched up the ranks to surpass Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as the No. 3 facility. The remainder of the Honor Roll remained identical to last year’s list.

The annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings aim to support families seeking care for their child’s complex and rare condition. The lists include the Honor Roll as well as rankings of the top 50 children’s hospitals for 10 different medical specialties and—for the first time—breakdowns of the top centers by geographic region and state.

“The Best Children's Hospitals rankings have always highlighted hospitals that excel in specialized care,” Ben Harder, chief of health analysis and managing editor at U.S. News, said in a statement. “Now, this year's new state and regional rankings can help families identify conveniently located hospitals capable of meeting their child’s needs. As the pandemic continues to affect travel, finding high-quality care close to home has never been more important.”

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Built by U.S. News and research firm RTI International, it includes data from 118 children’s hospitals and surveys with “thousands” of pediatric specialists.

According to the report’s methodology, the collected information “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.”

While that usually includes annual data collection and review from the hospitals, pediatric physicians and other healthcare organizations, U.S. News noted that this year’s ranking reused hospital-sourced data from the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full list of children’s hospitals named to the Honor Roll are:

  1. Boston Children’s Hospital
  2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  3. Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston
  4. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
  5. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
  6. Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora
  7. Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.
  8. Nationwide Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  9. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
  10. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, California

In addition to their places at the top of the Honor Roll, the year’s best performers frequently held prominent positions on the specialty-specific rankings.

Boston Children’s Hospital, for instance, led the pack for neurology and neurosurgery, pulmonology and lung surgery, nephrology and urology.

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CHOP was the top center for cancer, orthopedics, and diabetes and endocrinology, while Texas Children’s Hospital was named the leading pediatric care provider of cardiology and heart surgery.

Neonatology’s top spot was claimed by Children’s National Hospital. The gastroenterology and GI surgery category went to Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Outside of COVID-19 hindering data collection, U.S. News noted adjustments in this year’s rankings related to measuring how well a hospital is able to prevent surgical complications in orthopedics and in urology.

Going forward, the rankings will likely be adjusted to consider the pandemic’s impact on patients and hospital operations, information on behavioral and mental health, diversity and new outcome measures among other potential changes, according to the report.