Methodology: U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals 2012–13
U.S. News & World Report published the first Best Hospitals rankings in 1990 to identify the best medical centers for the most difficult patients -those whose illness poses unusual challenges because of the underlying condition, the procedure required, or other medical issues that add risk.
More than one of these factors may be in play for particular patients. The rankings have been published annually since their initial appearance. The focus on the most difficult patients has not changed.
Pediatric patients present special challenges because children are smaller (which complicates every facet of care from intubation to drug dosages), they are more vulnerable to infection, they depend on adults to manage and administer their medications, and they are born with congenital diseases such as spina bifida and cystic fibrosis.
Recognizing the unique care needed for pediatric patients, U.S. News launched Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2008. The rankings are based on an extensive analysis using a methodology that combines clinical and operational data collected directly from a survey of children’s hospitals with results from a survey of board-certified pediatric specialists, supplemented by information from additional resources such as the National Cancer Institute. The initial rankings listed the top 30 hospitals in six specialties. They have expanded to rank the top 50 children’s centers
in 10 specialties: Cancer, Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology, Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology, and Urology.