Special Report

Best Children's Hospitals

Courtesy of Valley Children's

Parents worry about children in good times as well as bad, and few things are more worrisome than a sick child. Fortunately, there are a number of great children’s hospitals around the country, and 24/7 Tempo has a list of the best of them, according to The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Survey for 2020 — which uses a variety of national performance measures to evaluate individual institutions on safety, quality, and efficiency.  

Leapfrog doesn’t rate a set number as top hospitals. Rather, it recognizes only those that score top marks against its performance measures. Only nine children’s hospitals did so in the 2020 survey. Leapfrog said these hospitals have better systems in place to prevent medication errors, higher quality on maternity care, and lower infection rates, among other laudable qualities. (Unfortunately, these are the 25 states with the worst healthcare systems.)

The top children’s hospitals are somewhat concentrated: three are in Florida and two are in California. Several of them are teaching hospitals and are affiliated with leading medical schools, such as the University of California, Irvine, and Stanford University. Some have pediatric trauma centers. These are the biggest worries about children’s health.

Click here to see the best children’s hospitals

To identify the best hospitals in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 2020 Hospital Survey published by The Leapfrog Group, which collects and analyzes data on health care safety and quality in America. To be ranked among the best, a hospital needed to receive an A grade in the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, and to score among the highest institutions overall. Hospital locations were manually researched.

Children’s Hospital of Orange County
> Location: Orange, California

Known by its acronym, CHOC, this is a 300-bed pediatric acute-care hospital affiliated with the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. It scored high by most measures, but had a weaker rating for healthcare associated infections.


Valley Children’s Hospital
> Location: Madera, California

Valley Children’s Hospital is a standalone pediatric acute-care children’s teaching hospital with more than 350 beds. It is affiliated with the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida
> Location: Fort Myers, Florida

Golisano Children’s Hospital is a standalone facility. It opened in 2017, so has state-of-the-art facilities — doubtless helping it to hae been top-ranked by Leapfrog for three years in a row.

Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital
> Location: Hollywood, Florida

This children’s general facility and teaching hospital was renamed the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in 1992. According to a friend, having his name on the pediatric hospital meant more to DiMaggio than being elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame.


Nemours Children’s Hospital, Orlando
> Location: Orlando, Florida

Nemours has three children’s facilities in Florida. Children’s Hospital in Orlando has a cardiac center, a center for cancer and blood disorders, a center for fetal care for high-risk babies, and a vascular anomalies program. It scored high by most measures, but had a weaker score for healthcare associated infections.

Children’s Hospital of Michigan
> Location: Detroit, Michigan

Children’s Hospital of Michigan is a for-profit pediatric acute-care hospital with more than 200 beds. It is affiliated with the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Michigan State University Medical School.


UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
> Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, part of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Cente, is the only hospital in Southwestern Pennsylvania dedicated solely to the care of infants, children, teens, and young adults. It achieved generally high scores across the board.

Cook Children’s Medical Center
> Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Cook is one of the largest freestanding children’s medical centers in the country. The hospital provides comprehensive pediatric specialties and subspecialties to infants, children, teens, and young adults. It has a pediatric trauma center. It achieved top marks in almost all categories.

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Network
> Location: Tacoma, Washington

Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital is an 82-bed facility with a pediatric trauma center. Connected to Tacoma General Hospital it was established in 1955 by members of Tacoma Orthopedic Association, a women’s volunteer group.

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