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by Christina Echegaray | Tuesday, Jun. 27, 2017, 8:35 AM
For the 11th consecutive year, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt has been named among the nation’s leaders in pediatric health care by U.S. News & World Report in their annual Best Children’s Hospital rankings released today.
Children’s Hospital is again home to a maximum of 10 out 10 pediatric specialty programs to be nationally ranked, the only children’s hospital in Tennessee to earn this distinction.
“Our longstanding commitment is to provide the most advanced pediatric health care services for children and families throughout the region, and to care for patients as we would members of our own families. This acknowledgment from U.S. News reflects the professionalism and compassion on display each day by the Children’s Hospital team. I want to express my appreciation to everyone for another year of outstanding results,” said C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., Deputy CEO and Chief Health System Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC).
The 2017-2018 Best Children’s Hospital report ranks the top 50 pediatric centers in 10 specialties. Scores are calculated using clinical outcomes, such as patient survival, infections rates and complications; hospital resources directly related to patient care; delivery of health care, such as programs that prevent infections/follow best practices; and results from reputational surveys of board-certified pediatric specialists.
Eighty-one of the 187 surveyed hospitals were ranked among the top 50 in at least one specialty. Children’s Hospital has ranked every year since the pediatric rankings’ inception in 2007.
“It is a tremendous accomplishment for Children’s Hospital and its specialties to once again hold the distinction of being ranked in 10 out of 10 categories, with half of those specialties being among the top 20 in the nation. We should also be proud that we have two pediatric specialties — Urology and Neonatology — recognized as the very best in the nation,” said Luke Gregory, Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital. “These accolades reflect the continued dedication and passion that our faculty, nurses and staff demonstrate to provide the highest quality of care to the children and families of Middle Tennessee and beyond. We could not do the work we do without the commitment and generous support of our community pediatricians and partners. Congratulations to all.”
Children’s Hospital’s Division of Urology has been a solid top 10 elite pediatric specialty program every year since U.S. News began nationally ranking pediatric urology in 2009. The division is the only pediatric specialty to enjoy that achievement at Vanderbilt. This year, Urology holds the No. 7 spot.
“I am proud that the Division of Urology continues to set the standard nationally as a leader of excellence in pediatric urology, delivering cutting-edge, compassionate care to children,” said John W. Brock III, M.D., director of Pediatric Urology, surgeon-in-chief and Monroe Carell Jr. Professor. “Every day our team — from the clinic, to the hospital, to the operating room — comes to work ready to serve patients and families, innovate treatments, therapies and procedures and train the next generation of providers.”
Brock, who leads a quality improvement initiative at Children’s Hospital, continued, “We have worked extremely hard as an institution to build on areas where we excel while improving on areas where we can be even better for patients and families. Because of our efforts and our tremendous successes, Children’s Hospital is recognized as a premier leader in pediatric health care, now enjoying some of the highest pediatric rankings in the history of this facility.”
Among the other pediatric specialties, six moved up in the rankings. Neonatology improved from 26th to 9th; Cancer moved up from 18th to 16th; Orthopaedics went from 14th to 13th; Pulmonology improved from 17th to 13th; Diabetes & Endocrinology moved from 31st to 24th; Gastroenterology and GI Surgery went from 22nd to 21st. Other specialties ranked this year: Neurology & Neurosurgery (26); Cardiology & Heart Surgery (23); Nephrology (31).
“We are pleased to once again receive the distinguished honor as a top children’s hospital and as a leader in all 10 pediatric specialty programs,” said Steven Webber, MBChB, MRCP, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and James C. Overall Professor. “Our continual climb in the U.S. News rankings is a direct correlation to unrelenting teamwork and a steadfast commitment by all our pediatric programs to provide exceptional clinical care, teach the next generation of providers and conduct pioneering research.”
In Neonatology, the Mildred Stahlman Division of Neonatology has seen significant gains in its rankings over the past several years. That climb is reflective of various quality initiative projects, one of which included respiratory therapists using evidence-based in respiratory care.
“We are all thrilled that our hard work has received such great national recognition. Providing patient care in the NICU requires so many different groups of people — physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, dietitians, pharmacists, respiratory therapists — just to name a few,” said Susan Guttentag, M.D., Julia Carell Stadler Professor and Director of the Division of Neonatology.
“We’ve all worked so hard together to identify challenges to delivering quality care based on our own outcomes data, and then to develop systematic changes to move toward our goals. So many people have generously given of their own personal time to do this quality improvement work because of their commitment to doing a better job today than they did yesterday. I get to be their cheerleader, but it’s really the team that is moving the ball forward.”
Construction is currently underway to add four floors atop the existing Children’s Hospital facility to expand on services and care for even more children in Middle Tennessee and beyond.
“I often say ‘it takes a village to do what we do every day.’ Well, we have 10 recognized ‘villages’ among many others! We are thrilled with the continuous improvement of all of our programs to provide the best and most comprehensive care possible for the children in our community, our region and beyond,” said Meg Rush, M.D., MMHC, chief of staff and executive medical director of Children’s Hospital.
“We truly have the greatest ‘village’ of health care team members who recognize and work diligently to care for the children we serve. But what is so very special — no one comes to work thinking of U.S. News rankings. Our faculty, staff and trainees come to work committed to great outcomes because that is what we all want for those we serve. Congratulations to Urology and Neonatology especially, but also to all of our programs for your commitment and wonderful service,” Rush said.
This year’s full rankings, which include information on infection rates, adequacy of staff, procedure volumes and more from the 187 hospitals, are available online here.
Christina Echegaray, (615) 322-4747
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