Pulmonology ranked best in the nation for second straight year

August 13, 2019

Texas Children’s Pulmonology recently celebrated a well-deserved milestone after learning they were ranked No. 1 by U.S. News & World Report for the second straight year in a row.

On June 19, the Pulmonology team gathered in a conference room on the 10th floor of Wallace Tower to celebrate this impressive accomplishment. Pulmonology, which first debuted in the top spot in the 2016 rankings, was once again recognized as the best in the nation for children in need of pulmonary care.

“At Texas Children’s, we built our program to serve the needs of children with all types of lung disease, from common ailments to the most complex cases,” said Chief of Pulmonary Medicine Dr. Peter Hiatt. “Our unrelenting commitment to providing life-changing and life-saving treatments to children is what motivates us every day to do better and ultimately achieve the best possible patient outcomes.”

The U.S. News rankings uses a methodology that weighs a combination of patient outcomes, quality of health care, available clinical resources, such as specialized clinics, external accreditations and compliance with best practices. Improved rankings show a healthcare organization’s commitment to providing high-quality care and identifying gaps where improvements are needed.

Big wins for patients and families

Building on the successes of previously existing programs, the Pulmonology team continues to make great strides in patient care and outcomes which were recently noted in the U.S. News rankings:

  • Improved one year survival for lung transplant patients.
    Texas Children’s has one of the largest and most successful pediatric lung transplant programs in the country. The one-year lung transplant survival metric is based on data collected from the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) database. Based on this metric and when comparing the volume of our lung transplant patients across the country, the team has seen measurable improvements in our one-year lung transplant survival rate.
  • Improved growth percentile for cystic fibrosis patients 0 – 24 months of age.
    Along with respiratory lung problems, cystic fibrosis patients may encounter digestive problems that can lead to nutritional concerns (malnutrition) and poor growth. Attention to nutritional status and lung function in the first years of life is crucial to promoting the most favorable outcomes. Our pulmonology team improved the median weight-for-length (WFL) growth percentile in CF patients (0-24 months of age) by focusing efforts on early intervention. This included working with our CF dietitians to manage nutrition and avoid calorie and nutrient deficiencies in this patient population. Also, the team collaborated with our CF Family Advocacy group to help under-insured or uninsured families obtain supplements.
  • Reduced hospital re-admissions for patients with asthma-related symptoms
    Pulmonology develops the protocols that guide the organization on how asthma care is delivered to patients across the system. Multidisciplinary collaborations helped the organization decrease hospital re-admissions for exacerbated asthma-related symptoms. Our team collaborated with our partners at the Emergency Center and Texas Children’s Pediatric practices to manage care for chronic to high-risk asthma patients. Other efforts included educating patients about follow up care and the importance of asthma medication adherence to reduce unnecessary re-admissions.
  • Achieved below target threshold for hospital length of stay (LOS) for asthma patients
    Texas Children’s stayed under the 2-day threshold for asthma length of stay on average. Prompt administration of systemic corticosteroid in the Emergency Department (ED) setting and having a focused unit for asthma inpatient care allowed for close monitoring and weaning of therapy to allow for a timely discharge. This was a partnership with the ED and hospitalist clinicians.

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