Akron Children’s Hospital has been ranked in 6 specialties on the U.S. News & World Report’s annual ranking of the best children’s hospitals in the United States, now available online.
For 2019-20, Akron Children’s ranked:
- 31st in Pediatric Urology
- 37th in Pediatric Pulmonology
- 39th in Neonatal Care
- 42nd in Pediatric Neurology & Neurosurgery
- 45th in Pediatric Gastroenterology and GI Surgery
- 47th in Pediatric Orthopedics
The new rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the United States in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and GI surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and lung surgery, and urology.
“The Best Children’s Hospital rankings were designed to help provide families seeking the best medical care for their sick child with access to the most comprehensive data available,” said Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health care analysis at U.S. News. “The rankings, coupled with guidance from pediatricians, help families make better informed decisions about where to find high-quality, compassionate care for their children when they need it most.”
The rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The methodology factors in patient outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices.
Dr. Kerwyn Jones, chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, credits his entire team – physicians and support staff – with the recognition, noting that the staff develops clearly-defined “group quality goals that are discussed first and foremost at monthly meetings.”
Front-line staff, he noted, have the best perspective of patient needs and that typically drives process improvement projects.
“We have always had a relentless pursuit towards our goal of outstanding care,” Dr. Jones said.
And while he believes rankings are not what drives his providers and support staff, it does acknowledge their efforts.
“Unquestionably,” he added, “it is the pride that they have at the end of the day knowing that they’ve done the best they can for each patient who walks through our doors that drives them.”
Dr. Starla Martinez, director of the Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, said her team’s quality improvement initiatives have focused on making sure all patients get the influenza vaccine each fall, a key aspect in keeping them healthy, and integrating the latest standards of care for patients with cystic fibrosis.
“Preventing admissions for asthma is another area we have been working on,” said Dr. Martinez, “and we’ve only been able to do this with the help of patients and their families and hundreds of people in the hospital, in the outpatient offices, and in the schools. This kind of national ranking is a huge honor and we are thrilled about it, but, the most important thing about it is that it lets our community know their support of Akron Children’s Hospital is well placed.”
Dr. Reinaldo Garcia, division director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, also credits teamwork and the hospital’s commitment to program development to his department’s ranking.
“The successful recruitment of new talented young physicians as one of the most important decisions in the strategic development of the division,” he said.
Other factors include the creation of multidisciplinary programs, collegial work with the department of Pediatric Surgery, and enrollment in nationwide programs that provide the most up-to-date and standardized care for patients, especially those with inflammatory bowel disease.
“As a new team that is still growing and looking for new challenges and opportunities to expand our practice, to be recognized as one of the 50 top divisions in the country is an honor, and clearly gives us even more energy,” added Dr. Garcia.