Choosing a Care Provider
Choosing a care team that you and your child trust is extremely important – together you will make important decisions about your child’s health.
What to ask or look for when choosing a provider
- Board certification – Although doctors can practice medicine with a medical license, board certification says they have a specific expertise and greater depth of knowledge in a specialty or area. Board certification requires recertification also, meaning doctors are kept current within their field of expertise.
- Children’s is only the only academic healthcare facility focusing entirely on the comprehensive care of children from birth to age 18. Many of the physicians who practice at Children’s Health are certified not only in their specialty but also in pediatrics.
- A team approach – Normally, children with chronic conditions and children that are having surgery need to be seen by many different clinicians – from other specialty doctors to laboratory and imaging technicians to anesthesiologists to dieticians. It is important to look for a medical center where these experts are on the same campus and easily accessible
- Providers in more than 50 subspecialties work collaboratively on one main campus, providing immediate availability of pediatric subspecialty consultations.
- A research hospital – When a hospital is actively participating in cutting edge research, doctors are able to treat their patients with the most up to date technology, techniques and medicines that have proven to be the most successful.
- Children’s is affiliated with one of the nation’s chief research institutions, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. Faculty members work as part of the medical staff at Children’s and participate in nationally recognized research to develop advanced treatments for pediatric diseases.
- Program size – A larger program means that the doctors treating your child have treated other children with similar diagnoses. In many cases, sub-specialty programs are developed to provide all resources for a diagnosis together to reach the best outcomes.
- Children’s is the eighth largest pediatric hospital in the nation with the second-busiest number of inpatient admissions and second-busiest Emergency Department.
- Children’s has the largest childhood cancer and blood center in the region, providing comprehensive care for all types of pediatric cancers, and is one of only four national pediatric research centers sanctioned by the National Institutes of Health, making it one of the nation’s top-tier cancer programs.
- Children’s houses one of the largest endocrinology centers in the country and the largest in Dallas, as well as the only academic program for treating children with endocrine disorders.
- Joint Commission certification – The Joint Commission is a regulatory body that offers certifications for chronic disease and chronic condition programs. For the patient, a Joint Commission certification ensures that best practice processes are followed consistently.
- The nation’s leading accrediting and regulatory agency, The Joint Commission, has certified seven disease-specific care programs at Children’s—five more than any other pediatric hospital in the nation—including the first certification for an Autism Evaluation and Diagnostic Program. It’s also the only pediatric hospital with certifications for disease-specific care programs in epilepsy and pain management. These certifications recognize the effective use of evidence-based clinical guidelines to improve outcomes.
- Level I Trauma Center – A hospital receives trauma center certification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS). A higher level of trauma center (level-1 is the highest) means that the center has specialists and care team staff trained in trauma as well as advanced technology and machines.
- Children’s is the first pediatric hospital in Texas with a designated Level I Trauma Center.
- Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) – A NICU specializes in care for babies, and the levels of care are designated by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Level IV (level-4 is the highest) NICUs meets the highest quality of care for the smallest babies with the highest complexity of cases. Level IV NICUs also have specialists and equipment available to do complex surgeries.
- Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is a Level IV NICU facility and a leading referral NICU in the North Texas area.
- Reported patient outcomes – Hospitals are required to report patient outcomes
- Children’s has earned national recognition for excellence in the use of innovative technology that improves patient outcomes; commitment to the highest quality care of pediatric heart failure and stroke patients; and excellence in neonatal and pediatric transport.
- Recognition of nursing and therapy care
- Children’s is distinguished by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s elite Magnet Recognition Program, the highest national recognition for excellent nursing care, given to fewer than 5% of the nation’s hospitals.
- Children’s is the first hospital in the United States to have its entire respiratory therapy staff in the Neonatal/Pediatric Specialty certified—the highest accreditation for neonatal respiratory therapists by the National Board for Respiratory Care.
- US News & World Report ranking
- Regularly recognized by U.S. News & World Report as among the nation’s top hospitals, Children’s is the only pediatric hospital in North Texas to be nationally ranked by the magazine in all 10 specialties.