Choosing a Pediatric Hospital
Selecting a pediatric hospital is an important decision, as it will ultimately decide the quality of care your child receives.
No matter if it’s for an emergency, surgery, or ongoing illness – as parents, we want to be certain our children get access to care that meets their individual needs as quickly as possible.
Money’s list of the best children’s hospitals includes facilities with top-tier patient care and highly acclaimed pediatric specialists, along with family-centered treatment approaches that put patients first. Money assesses specialty facilities based on key data points as well as qualitative factors, like patient experience.
Pediatric hospitals can be an invaluable source of care for your child. Unlike general hospitals, pediatric hospitals specialize in the health needs and issues specific to children and provide a broad selection of specialty services that cater specifically to this age group.
Additionally, these providers can be an excellent solution for families of children living with rare diseases that require long-term treatment – often treating these patients through adulthood.
However, availability of pediatric beds has been steadily decreasing in many areas across the nation due to lower insurance reimbursement rates for pediatric care and due to an increasing number of adults needing hospital care, according to Daniel Rauch, chair of the Committee on Hospital Care at American Academy of Pediatrics.
Hsu says this can create issues in both emergency departments, where there may not be enough beds to treat a range of illnesses, and neonatal intensive care units or psychiatric units, where fewer pediatric beds are available to treat mental illnesses.
Traveling long distances for hospital care can uproot families and impose an emotional and financial strain, particularly among those from rural areas or on Native American reservations, according to Rauch.
Finding support from medical staff may be more challenging if you live far from them; so, to ensure your child always has someone there when they require care, selecting a pediatric hospital near home is crucial.
Your decision should take many factors into consideration, such as location, reputation, and specialty; but most importantly, select a hospital that provides optimal care to your child.
Reputation is at the core of every successful business, but especially crucial in healthcare. Reputations are formed through every aspect of business operations – from how they conduct themselves to their treatment of employees.
Reputation is an intricate multifaceted phenomenon encompassing perception, cognition, social propagation and public opinion. Reputation results from three factors working in tandem to produce it: perception, cognition and public opinion (Bitektine and colleagues). Reputation can span the level of individual cognition to that of population perception.
Reputation is of great importance when choosing a hospital setting to care for their child, particularly if their procedure will involve being in the operating room. You want your child treated by skilled and experienced team of medical professionals who know their stuff.
So it is essential to select a pediatric hospital with an excellent reputation; this will guarantee your child will receive top-tier care.
One of the hallmarks of excellence for hospitals is their emphasis on patient- and family-centric care, which involves active partnerships between patients and their care teams to develop tailored plans that encompass emotional, mental, spiritual and financial aspects of a child’s wellbeing.
Consider also the quality and safety of hospital services, including their track record for positive outcomes such as successful treatments and rates of infections and medication errors. This data can be particularly important when looking at hospitals that specialize in pediatric care as there is often only a narrow margin for error in these types of cases.
Pediatric hospitals provide children with an array of specialty services for conditions ranging from the most prevalent to those that require advanced medical knowledge and expertise. Some specialties may include handling serious injuries or complex surgeries as well as illnesses; others focus on helping families cope with chronic or terminal illnesses and provide assistance during end-of-life journeys.
Pediatric hospitals’ offerings depend on the specialties available through their physicians. Most pediatric specialists at these facilities are board-certified physicians specializing in treating children, with extensive education and training backgrounds as well as additional fellowships after having completed pediatric residency.
At Stony Brook Children‘s, our physicians specialize in over 30 pediatric specialties to provide your child with expert help for any issue, no matter how serious.
Pediatric pulmonologists specialize in treating lung conditions ranging from asthma and chronic coughing, to bronchitis and pneumonia. Additionally, they work closely with your pediatrician to ensure your child has access to appropriate resources.
Your specialty may allow you to provide assistance to children suffering from serious cardiac conditions, including congenital heart defects and aortic dissections. In addition, you could provide care for lung diseases like pulmonary hypertension as well as manage sleep disorders like insomnia.
As a pediatric hematology/oncology specialist, you may also specialize in diagnosing and treating blood-related cancers or disorders in the bone marrow and marrow of patients. Your expertise as an oncology provider could assist families through diagnosis of leukemia, lymphoma, solid tumors or other diseases as well as helping thalassemia patients find cure through bone marrow transplant. You could even follow oncology patients into adulthood through survivorship clinics.
If you want to work at an award-winning pediatric hospital that boasts cutting edge medicine, look no further. U.S. News recognized ten top children’s hospitals nationwide on its Best Hospitals Honor Roll based on national surveys that focus on patient outcomes and hospital quality in 2017.
Pediatric hospitals boast cutting-edge technology that can make a real difference in patients’ treatment. From MRI machines and robotic surgeons, children will experience state-of-the-art equipment when visiting hospital facilities.
At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, physicians are piloting a diagnostic tool called Pediaglyphs that allows them to assess developmental milestones and detect issues early so treatment can commence sooner. Pediaglyphs is being designed by Kelly Kelleher, MD, MPH – director of Nationwide Children’s Center for Innovation in Pediatric Practice – working alongside Vectorform LLC which specialises in designing applications and interactive communications systems.
Kelleher believes this technology will also enable patients to monitor their progress at the hospital and receive education on their condition, potentially saving both time and money in treatment costs.
Artificial intelligence in children’s care can also prove helpful, enabling doctors and nurses to make diagnoses and treatment plans quickly and easily. At UTHSC and Le Bonheur Hospitals, physicians are exploring its uses in detecting seizures before they occur.
At an esophageal endoscopy, doctors can leverage machine learning to conduct the procedure without general anesthesia. Furthermore, an AI-powered tool is available that identifies any spinal anomalies in children having surgery.
Hospital patients can often find comforting entertainment options available to them to keep them calm during procedures or treatments, including soft music, games and cartoon characters in the rooms, dim lighting or having someone hold their hand during procedures or treatments. Such changes can make an incredible difference for children in a stressful situation.