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6 Qualities of the Best Children’s Hospitals in the U.S.

By Debra Wood, RN, contributor

Pursuing a career in pediatrics, but not sure where you want to practice? Give consideration to working at the highest rated hospitals for children. U.S. News & World Report released the 2018-2019 Best Children’s Hospital rankings this summer.

Whether you seek to be employed by the hospital, work in a medical practice with hospital privileges, or prefer a locum tenens pediatrics assignment, these standout children’s hospitals have several factors in common that enrich pediatrician jobs while modeling practices that other facilities will want to follow.

The Honor Roll: The top 10 children’s hospitals
The following ten facilities were chosen by U.S. News for the overall 2018-2019 Best Children's Hospitals Honor Roll:

1. Boston Children's Hospital
2.Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
3. Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
4. Texas Children's Hospital, Houston
5. Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
6. Children's Hospital Los Angeles
7. Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
8. Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Baltimore
9. Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora
10. Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

“This recognition serves as evidence of the compassion and hard work of our dedicated staff,” said Steve Allen, MD, CEO of Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus, Ohio, an honor roll hospital. “The external validation reinforces Nationwide Children’s continued commitment to delivering the best outcomes for our patients and their families.”

Additionally,U.S. News rated the top five hospitals in 10 selected pediatric specialties, including: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.

SEE the full list of Best Pediatric Hospital Rankings by Specialty

Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston was named to the honor roll and placed first for cardiology and heart surgery and pulmonology. 

“Our patients, families, employees, and community were tested this year when Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area, yet through it all we demonstrated undeniable resolve, determination and courage,” says Mark A. Wallace, president and CEO of Texas Children’s. 

What makes a “Best Children’s Hospital?” The researchers at U.S. News consider patient outcomes, clinical resources and compliance with best practices. We spoke to some hospital leaders about how they achieve these great outcomes and discovered that the best pediatric hospitals not only follow best practices, they also develop them

6 Qualities of the Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals

1.Respecting the past while looking ahead

    The best children’s hospitals tend to lead the way toward better patient care.  

    “The Johns Hopkins Children's Center has been at the forefront of pediatric medicine for a long time and we are deeply committed to the future of pediatrics,” said Margaret Moon, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at the honor roll hospital in Baltimore. We are a great hospital because we respect our proud history and have tremendous faith in our future.”

    2.Focusing on quality care and well-being

      Moon called the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center “a remarkable place, with a palpable sense of mission and energy to move the world forward for children.” 

      “Every aspect of our work is focused on the well-being of children and their families, and that is the source of tremendous inspiration and joy,” Moon said. “Children are everyone's future, and it is wonderful to be part of promoting a better tomorrow for the children we serve.”

      3.Conducting research

        All of the honor-roll hospitals conduct research to better understand the science behind improving patient care. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s is one of the largest in the country and is ranked in the top 10 for funding by the National Institutes of Health among free-standing children’s hospitals.

        4.Educating the next generation

          Best children’s hospitals create an environment that fosters learning about the science of medicine and the art of compassionate caring.  

          “We believe in our work — in the highest quality patient- and family-centered care, in innovative research that sets the stage for better health for all children and in our duty to educate future pediatricians, pediatric nurses and all those engaged in the care of children,” Moon said.

          Moon added that she feels “energized by the intelligence, compassion and commitment of my colleagues and our students; they set the standard for excellence while creating a community founded in collaboration and respect.”

          5.Committing to kindness

            “Each year, our Texas Children’s team exhibits incredible strength and kindness, as well as passion, caring for the inspirational children and families we serve,” Wallace continued. “I believe this is one reason why we continue to maintain the respect and reputation as one of the best hospitals in the nation, and the destination for pediatric care in Texas.” 

            6.Providing holistic care

              The best hospitals care for the entire person, in this case, children, who may have mental as well as physical problems. 

              Nationwide Children’s takes a holistic approach to care and provides behavioral health services and conducts research in this area of medicine. “We will strive to make an entire population healthier, not just through their physical health, but also in their mental health,” states Nationwide Children’s strategic plan. 

              Nationwide Children’s also invests in its communities to address the social determinants of health, and develop payment models to better serve unique populations of children.  

              Want to work with the best?

              Locum Leaders, an AMN Healthcare company that specializes in locum tenens assignments, is recruiting for pediatricians, pediatric surgeons and pediatric NP jobs at top-rated facilities and practices across the country. 

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