Methodology, U.S. News & World Report Best Children’s Hospitals 2014-15
In 1990, U.S. News & World Report began publishing what was then called America’s Best Hospitals. The intent was to identify the best medical centers in various specialties for the most difficult patients ? those whose illnesses pose unusual challenges because of underlying conditions, procedure difficulty or other medical issues that add significant risk.
The 2014-15 rankings mark the 25th year of annual publication. The focus on identifying top sources of care for the most difficult patients remains the same.
Pediatrics was among the original specialties in which hospitals were ranked, but until 2007 the pediatric rankings were based entirely on a reputational survey of physicians. Hard data that would inform the rankings was absent. Such data are critical because young patients present special challenges. Their small size relative to adults 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 treated for congenital diseases such as spina bifida and cystic fibrosis.