N.C. Children's Hospital ranked as one of the best in the nation

Thursday, June 3, 2010 — U.S. News & World Report has ranked N.C. Children’s Hospital as ninth in the nation among those caring for children with respiratory disorders and 23rd for diabetes and endocrinology.

CHAPEL HILL — N.C. Children's Hospital is one of the best children's hospitals in the nation, according to U.S. News Media Group's 2010 edition of America's Best Children's Hospitals, the most extensive listing of its kind. The publication has recognized N.C. Children’s Hospital as ninth in the nation among those caring for children with respiratory disorders and 23rd for diabetes and endocrinology. The ranking will appear online at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals and be featured in the August print issue of U.S. News & World Report, available on newsstands starting July 27.

"This marks the third consecutive year that N.C. Children's Hospital has been ranked in pulmonology," said Alan Stiles, MD,  the Children's Hospital's chief physician and chair of pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine. "This year we were also ranked for the first time in diabetes and endocrinology. Both of these areas have been focused on developing centers of excellence so that no child in North Carolina has to go out of state to receive cutting-edge care."

Families across North Carolina can rest easy knowing that, if and when they need it, their children have access to world-class care at one of the best children's hospitals in the entire country—not only here in Chapel Hill but at more than 25 satellite clinics throughout the state."

"While they might be a small percentage of all hospital patients, a large number of children every year need high-quality hospital care," said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. "The objective of the Best Children's Hospitals rankings is to help children with uniquely challenging medical needs, and for these special patients, it is essential they seek treatment at pediatric facilities with deep expertise. With this year's rankings, we're providing important information on the best of the best."

The methodology behind this year’s rankings weighed a three-part blend of reputation, outcome, and care-related measures such as nursing care, advanced technology, credentialing, and other factors. The hospitals were judged based on a combination of opinions from pediatric specialists about the hospitals they would recommend for the sickest children and data gathered in a 65-page survey covering important medical information ranging from surgical death rates to whether pediatric anesthesiologists and other sub specialists are on the staff. A detailed description of the methodology can be found at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

Hospitals are ranked in 11 specialty categories: cancer, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology, heart and heart surgery, kidney disorders, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology.

"Like our respiratory program, which brings together the largest concentration of pediatric airway specialists in the Southeast, we have nationally renowned clinical programs in several pediatric subspecialties," added Stiles. "Because the ranking methodology weighs so heavily on reputation, I think we'll do even better in future rankings as we heighten the visibility of those programs and our faculty's vast accomplishments in the patient care and research arenas."

Ranking-eligible facilities were largely drawn from two membership categories of the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI): freestanding children’s hospitals, or “hospitals within a hospital” (large, multidisciplinary pediatric departments within a medical center). Several non-NACHRI members were added because of known expertise or at the recommendation of experts. Of the 160 children’s hospitals invited to complete the 65-page survey, 98 responded. The survey was created and administered by RTI International, the same respected research organization that collects the data and oversees the methodology behind the adult Best Hospitals rankings.

N.C. Children’s Hospital’s placement on the 2010 America’s Best Children’s Hospitals further distinguishes UNC Hospitals, which has been included in U.S. News & World Report’s America's Best Hospitals issue rankings for the last 16 years in a row.

Media contact: Tom Hughes, (919) 966-6047, tahughes@unch.unc.edu

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