CHOC Neonatology Earns “Top 20” Spot in U.S. News & World Report

CHOC Children’s neonatology has been named one of the nation’s “top 20” by the 2014-2015 U.S. News & World Report. The neonatology ranking showcases the team’s unwavering commitment to the highest standards of patient care and safety.

Dr. Vijay Dhar, CHOC medical director of the NICU attributes the division’s high performance to the specialized service lines at CHOC, including the Small Baby Unit, Surgical NICU, mandibular distraction osteogenesis program, neo-cardiac critical care and NICU Neuroscience program, some of which are the first in the nation. CHOC is also the only Orange County hospital offering extracorporeal life support.

“This award reaffirms the excellent, family-centered care at CHOC,” said Dr. Dhar. “It’s a testament to our standard of quality and to our talented multidisciplinary team.”

CHOC’s NICU is a designated Level 4 NICU – the highest distinction by the American Academy of Pediatrics – with 54 beds, offering tertiary and quaternary care for newborns of any medical and surgical needs. An additional 13 beds are located in the fairly new level II CHOC Children’s NICU at St. Joseph Hospital. The neonatology division is also involved in various research efforts, and is part of the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative (CPQCC) and Vermont Oxford Network (VON).

Representatives from NICUs nationwide recently toured CHOC’s Small Baby Unit and learned how to replicate the facility in their own hospitals as part of a conference held by VON. About 50 attendees spent two days at CHOC, touring and attending workshops and roundtable discussions.

In addition to the NICU’s high performance in the survey, CHOC also ranked as the nation’s best in these specialties: cancer, pulmonology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, gastroenterology and GI surgery, and urology.

“As the U.S. News & World Report annual Best Children’s Hospitals survey increases its focus on quality, safety and outcomes, it is not surprising that neonatology in particular and the many other specialties at CHOC have become recognized for their excellence,” said Dr. Jim Cappon, CHOC chief quality officer. “The focus of attention, energy and family engagement that the neonatology team brings to the bedside care of each and every neonate is really quite remarkable,” he added.

The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings highlight the nation’s top 50 pediatric facilities in 10 specialties, based on a combination of clinical data and reputation. U.S. News gathers the clinical data through a questionnaire sent to 183 pediatric hospitals. Five-sixths of each hospital’s score relied on patient outcomes and care-related resources made available at each facility. The remaining one-sixth of the score was derived from a survey of 450 pediatric specialists and subspecialists.


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