SLCH specialties rank among the top in annual U.S. News survey

From BJC Today, June 23, 2014

In each of the 10 specialties surveyed, St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University is again among the best in the nation, according to U.S.News & World Report. The publication released its annual “Best Children’s Hospitals” edition, along with a new methodology used to prepare the rankings.

Of the 183 pediatric hospitals surveyed, only 21 ranked in all 10 specialties — including St. Louis Children’s Hospital-Washington University.

The 10 pediatric specialties are cancer, cardiology/heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology, and urology.

In three of these specialties, SLCH ranked in the top 10 — neurology and neurosurgery (5), pulmonology (8) and orthopedics (10).

Surveyors measured hospitals in three categories: resources — which refers to staffing, technology and specialty services; delivery of health care — which includes infection prevention methods, best practices and overall reputation; and clinical outcomes, such as patient survival, infection rates and complications.

New this year to the methodology are dozens of additional measures of best practices and infection control, with more weight assigned to these categories, and less weight assigned to hospital reputation.

"In the eight-year history of the Best Children’s Hospitals list, the factors influencing the rankings may have changed, along with the methodology, but St. Louis Children’s Hospital has consistently ranked in every category, ever year,” says Joan Magruder, SLCH president. “That should send a strong message to the families we serve that any way you look at it, you can count on St. Louis Children’s Hospital to provide extraordinary, unparalleled care.”

SLCH is the teaching hospital for Washington University School of Medicine, and many of the cutting-edge medical innovations that attract families to the hospital arise from that academic partnership.

"This is where the medicine of tomorrow is pioneered,” says Alan Schwartz, MD, chairman of the WUSM department of pediatrics. “We create a formidable opponent against childhood disease by galvanizing scientific research, bedside expertise and, most of all, hope.”

U.S. News introduced the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings in 2007 to help families of sick children find the best medical care available. The rankings open the door to an array of detailed information about each hospital’s performance.

“We know how important it is to parents to have confidence in pediatric centers that show dedication and expertise in caring for a child facing a life-threatening, rare or demanding illness,” says U.S. News health rankings editor Avery Comarow.

For a full listing of hospital rankings and methodology, visit