U.S. News names N.C. Children's Hospital as one of nation’s best in 10 clinical categories

N.C. Children's Hospital is the only children's hospital in North Carolina to achieve a top 10 ranking in any of the 10 specialty areas recognized by the publication, ranking 8th in pulmonology.

Media contact: Danielle Bates, 919.843.9714 (office), 949.842.0680 (mobile), dbates@med.unc.edu

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

For the fifth year running, N.C. Children’s Hospital at UNC Hospitals has been recognized by U.S. News Media Group as one of the nation’s best. N.C. Children’s Hospital ranks in 10 out of 10 clinical categories in U.S. News & World Report’s 2012-13 “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals” list, including a top 10 ranking in pediatric pulmonology, the only top 10 children's program in the entire state of North Carolina.

This year’s rankings mark the first time N.C. Children’s Hospital has been ranked in all 10 clinical categories recognized by U.S. News & World Report. N.C. Children’s Hospital is recognized:

  • 8th in pulmonology (up from 10th in the 2011-12 rankings)
  • 25th in gastroenterology (up from 39th in the 2011-12 rankings)
  • 26th in cancer (new to the rankings this year)
  • 29th in orthopaedics (up from 44th in the 2011-12 rankings)
  • 31st in nephrology (new to the rankings this year)
  • 32nd in endocrinology and diabetes (up from 37th in the 2011-12 rankings)
  • 36th in urology (new to the rankings this year)
  • 37th in neonatology (up from 44th in the 2011-12 rankings)
  • 46th in cardiology and heart surgery (down slightly from 43rd in the 2011-12 rankings)
  • 47th in neurology and neurosurgery (new to the rankings this year)


“Not only did we see most of our previously ranked programs climb positions in this year’s rankings, but four additional clinical programs were recognized for the first time ever,” said N.C. Children’s Hospital chief physician, Wesley Burks, MD, who is also the chair of pediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine. “We envision one day becoming the best children’s hospital in the Southeast, and this is one important hallmark that tells me we are making positive strides in the right direction.”

This year, U.S. News surveyed 178 pediatric centers to obtain hard data such as availability of key resources and ability to prevent complications and infections. The hospital survey made up 75 percent of the rankings. A separate reputational survey in which 1,500 pediatric specialists—150 in each specialty—were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty made up the remaining 25 percent. Only 80 of the institutions surveyed across the country ranked in one or more specialties.

“North Carolina Children’s Hospital deserves high praise for its accomplishments,” said Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow. “North Carolina Children’s Hospital has a reservoir of dedication and expertise that helps the sickest kids. Our goal at U.S. News is to identify and call attention to pediatric centers like this one.”

For families of sick children, Best Children’s Hospitals provides unparalleled quality-related information in addition to rankings, including survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure volume, and much more. From 1990 through 2007, the “America’s Best Children’s Hospital” rankings were exclusively reputation-based and determined by polling a small group of specialists in each clinical category by mail. Beginning in 2008, however, the methodology changed to include a voluminous clinical survey as a means for U.S. News to objectively measure the quality each hospital's clinical programs. Since that time, the rankings have put an increasing emphasis on data that directly reflect hospitals’ performance over the opinions of physicians.

The full rankings and methodology are available online. The rankings will also be published in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, which will be available in August.

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