MDN: St. Jude Ranked No. 1 Pediatric Cancer Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has reclaimed the title as the No. 1 pediatric cancer hospital in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report’s 28th annual “Best Hospitals” list, which compared nearly 5,000 medical centers nationwide in 25 specialties, procedures and conditions.
St. Jude held a special announcement event Tuesday, June 27, at the Marlo Thomas Center on its Memphis campus.
“I think every recognition helps the 4,000-plus individuals that work here to dedicate themselves to the mission of this institution,” said Dr. James R. Downing, St. Jude president and chief executive officer. “This one is particularly important because it’s also used by patients and families. When their child is diagnosed with cancer, they may be in some remote corner of the United States and not really know about St. Jude. So they go on the web and start looking, ‘where is the best place in the world for my child to be treated.’
“And this kind of ranking from U.S. News & World Report confirms that St. Jude is, in the United States – and really in my mind the best place in the world – for a child to be treated who has a catastrophic disease like cancer.”
St. Jude ranked No. 1 in the 2010 U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” list, and has been ranked near the top every year since.
This year’s rankings were based on objective measures including clinical outcomes, patient volume, infection control, adequacy of nurse staffing, efficiency and coordination of care delivery, and compliance with best practices.
Hospitals’ pediatric cancer scores were based on various measures of clinical care, with 85 percent of each hospital’s score coming from data collected through a detailed U.S. News clinical survey of children’s hospitals. The remaining 15 percent of scoring reflected nominations from pediatric specialists and subspecialists who responded to surveys and recommended a hospital for serious cases in their specialty.
“We have an environment here like no place else on earth,” Downing said. “We have a workforce like no place else on earth. I think every single person here is dedicated to the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”
St. Jude earned an overall score of 100 out of 100 and earned excellent ratings in a wide range of categories, including five-year cancer survival; ability to prevent infections throughout the hospital and in the ICU; number of patients and new patients; number of surgeries; nurse staffing; bone marrow transplant services; advanced clinical services and clinical support services offered; availability of specialized clinics and programs available; availability of fulltime subspecialists; reputation with physicians in the specialty; commitment to best practices and quality improvement; adoption of health information technology; commitment to clinical research; help for families; enlisting families in structuring care; and providing advanced palliative care.
Downing related the story of famous cardiac surgeon Michael DeBakey from Baylor College of Medicine, who passed away in 2008. When he came to St. Jude many years ago, he said “treating a child in Memphis is like treating 1,000 children across the world, and that has really always been at the core of who we are,” Downing said.
As a research hospital, St. Jude is committed to advancing cures, using research and using patient care to advance those cures, and sharing its research and information from clinical trials, collaborating with other medical centers across the United States, Canada and Australia.
St. Jude touts top survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers, including acute lymphoblastic leukemia and medulloblastoma. The hospital creates more cancer clinical trials than any other children’s hospital in the U.S., and unlike most hospitals, no family receives a bill from St. Jude for anything, including treatment, travel, housing and food.
“Recognition as the No. 1 hospital for children with cancer is a testament especially to our clinical staff, who won’t stop their lifesaving research and care until no child dies from cancer,” said Dr. Ellis Neufeld, St. Jude clinical director, physician-in-chief and executive vice president. “As we work to set the standard for pediatric cancer care, recognition such as this reaffirms that our focus and efforts are in the right place. St. Jude is truly unique.”
St. Jude is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Care Center devoted solely to children, and the hospital has received designated Magnet status by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, the highest honor granted to nursing services.