Healthcare News & Insights

Parents Magazine names best children’s hospitals

While hospitals may not look at Parents Magazine as the authority on children’s hospitals, many parents look to the publication for advice, including what hospitals will give their children the best treatment. That’s why it’s important for hospital executives to familiarize themselves with which hospitals were named in Parents’ Ten Best Children’s Hospitals and why. 

The survey data, which took into consideration both routine care and difficult cases, was provided by members of the Children’s Hospital Association. Each contributor provided more than 1,000 pieces of information. Then the data on treatment-success rates, research studies and doctors’ experience was analyzed with the help of medical advisers.

The hospitals that made Parents’ list are facilities that can provide everything from casting broken bones to double lung transplants. Here are top three children’s hospitals that made the list:

1. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia took the top spot on the list because of its leadership in kids’ cancer research. In addition to developing a successful treatment for children who are extremely sick with leukemia, it devised a treatment to eliminate specific types of neuroblastoma and lymphoma with a single pill. Researchers discovered a link between the disease and a “genetic snafu in the expression of a protein,” so they partnered with a drug company to develop a pill that would inhibit the protein. The good news is that the majority of the kids in the study (seven of eight kids with lymphoma, and one of two with neuroblastoma) are in remission.

The pediatric facility also is accredited for developing fetal surgery to treat spina bifida before birth.

Other attributes include:

  • A redesign of the emergency room (ER) waiting area with interactive displays and a kids’ library
  • Seacrest Studios, a multimedia center where patients can play their favorite songs, watch performances and meet celebrities, sponsored by the Ryan Seacrest Foundation
  • $30 million or more spent on research annually
  • Achieving Magnet nursing status, the highest level of care
  • 10 or more experimental cancer studies
  • 85% survival rate or higher for difficult heart surgeries
  • Average waits of an hour or less in the ER, and
  • Tracking of preemies for developmental delays.

2. Boston Children’s Hospital

Boston Children’s Hospital claimed the No. 2 spot on Parents’ list because of the high-profile studies it conducts that have allowed it to publish 2,000 research papers in the last two years. One of these studies is on a new medication that interferes with the chemical pathways thought to trigger autism symptoms. Another is on a medical first, a 14-hour surgery during which Dr. Heung Bae Kim transplanted six organs simultaneously in a 9-year old girl, who was suffering from a rare tumor that engulfed her entire abdomen. The little girl was so sick her entire life that she never went to school. Now she’s running around playing with her classmates.

The facility is also credited with inventing a heart valve that grows with a child, which reduces the number of risky surgeries the child must endure. It also successfully treated a child with combined immunodeficiency (bubble-boy disease) using gene therapy.

Other attributes include:

  • $30 million or more spent on research annually
  • Achieving Magnet nursing status, the highest level of care
  • 10 or more experimental cancer studies
  • 85% survival rate or higher for difficult heart surgeries
  • Average waits of an hour or less in the ER, and
  • Tracking of preemies for developmental delays.

3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

Being one of only a few hospitals who have experience with a temporary RotaFlow Left Ventricular Assist Device (L-VAD) landed Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the No. 3 spot. An L-VAD is a surgically inserted pump that gives the heart a vacation from work, while the doctors treat a virus that is affecting the heart. One 8-year old little girl suddenly developed heart failure due to a rare side effect from a common virus. But after only four days on the L-VAD, her heart was healed and the device was removed.

The pediatric hospital also gets the distinction of leading a 40-center study on the first promising medicine to prevent migraines in children.

Other attributes include:

  • Opening a pet visitation center in the near future, the first of its kind where children have a dedicated space to play with their furry family members
  • $30 million or more spent on research annually
  • Achieving Magnet nursing status, the highest level of care
  • 10 or more experimental cancer studies
  • 85% survival rate or higher for difficult heart surgeries
  • Average waits of an hour or less in the ER, and
  • Tracking of preemies for developmental delays.

 

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