Best Children’s Hospitals 2022-23: What to Expect

On Thursday, May 26, U.S. News will provide participating hospitals with a confidential preview, via the Best Hospitals Dashboardof their forthcoming 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. The rankings will be embargoed until June 14, when they will be published on usnews.com/childrenshospitals.

While the methodology behind this year’s rankings is broadly similar to last year’s, several changes are worth noting:

  • A novel index or measure of hospitals’ efforts to enhance equity, diversity and inclusion has been incorporated this year. It counts for 2 percent of each hospital’s score in each specialty. Components of the new measure assess hospitals’ activities focused on improving the equity of the care provided, promoting diversity and inclusion among physicians and hospital leaders, and enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion among all staff. For example, one measure component is determined by the proportion of a hospital’s pediatric patients who got screened for social determinants of health. Others reflect whether the hospital collects data on patients’ race, ethnicity, preferred language, food and housing security, and other social and demographic factors.
  • The weight of Expert Opinion has been reduced in most specialties from 15 percent to 13 percent. In Pediatric Cardiology & Heart Surgery, the weight of Expert Opinion has been reduced from 8.5 percent to 8 percent.
  • As previously announcedExpert Opinion was determined differently than in the past. First, we conducted our physician survey exclusively online, using the Doximity platform to reach doctors who are users of that network. Second, we handled a nomination differently if it came from a physician who had a current affiliation with the hospital they nominated, as compared to a nomination coming from a physician who was currently unaffiliated with the nominated hospital. To ensure the integrity of the physician survey, limited methodological detail about this new adjustment will be made public.
  • Certain changes were made to measures, definitions, reporting periods and scoring rules to account for the impact the pandemic has had on pediatric hospitals. For example, hospitals could improve their score in all specialties if they required COVID-19 vaccination of physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners and other members of their staff. We also made specialty-specific adjustments related to COVID-19. In Diabetes & Endocrinology, for example, hospitals received credit when diabetes patients were seen in-person or via telehealth by a nutritionist or certified diabetes educator; prior to the pandemic, only in-person visits counted. Scoring thresholds for various screening and follow-up measures were also adjusted to reflect the practical challenges hospitals faced in delivering care.

These and other methodology changes are described in the methodology report that will become available to hospitals in the Hospital Dashboard on Thursday, May 26, and will be publicly released alongside the rankings on June 14.

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