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Young Patients Don’t Have to Outgrow Us

U.S. News & World Report’s 2019–20 today released its Best Hospitals list, with The Johns Hopkins Hospital earning a #1 ranking in Maryland and #3 in the nation. Coupled with the pediatric hospital ranking in which U.S. News named Johns Hopkins Children’s Center #9 nationally, Johns Hopkins is the top-ranked hospital combined for both adult and pediatric care in the United States. That’s because our children’s center has the distinction of being the only pediatric hospital integrated within an adult facility.

It’s always good to be recognized in national rankings, which we know influence the decisions of international patients who must receive care in the United States or elsewhere for rare or complex conditions. However, what’s more important is that these combined rankings show Johns Hopkins’ commitment to the continuity of care over a patient’s lifetime.

We want each person, at every age, to receive optimal medical care, and having a children’s hospital inside an adult hospital means we are better equipped to provide a seamless transfer of care from adolescence to adulthood.

Each year our children’s center sees more than 92,000 patient visits and nearly 9,000 admissions. Some of these young patients and their families will set foot through our doors in response to a one-time emergency, such as trauma or burn. But for other kids, Johns Hopkins becomes their home away from home.

Thanks to advances in medicine and technology, we are seeing dramatically increased survival rates for kids with serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, sickle cell, muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis. With more than 30 pediatric specialties and subspecialties, our children’s center is able to provide young people with sustained care for chronic conditions or disabilities until they are ready to transition to adult care. I’ve heard some of our families call themselves “Johns Hopkins frequent flyers” because they trust us and choose to return to our facilities for their loved one’s care needs regularly for years on end.

Eventually, the time comes for these families to transition their child’s care to an adult setting, which can present a wide range of challenges. At Johns Hopkins, we recognize that successful transition programs respond to the various needs of patients, their families and health care providers. By providing a continuum of care throughout our health system, our patients and their families find comfort in knowing their care environment — in terms of actual physical spaces, but also in terms of processes and resources. There is also a smooth transferal of health information and medical records as a patient moves through our system. We try to reduce or remove unnecessary worries in an already-stressful time for families.

Additionally, we involve the entire medical home team — physicians, nurses, care coordinators — and other caregivers as part of the transition process. Sustaining excellent clinical care is a big part of this, of course, but we also wrap around all the other services our patients and their families need — including social work support, diagnostics and educational resources — as they enter different phases of care.

We welcome our patients and their families into a health system where the goal is to provide care that is uninterrupted, coordinated and appropriate — start to finish.


Katherine DeRuggiero

Vice President, Patient Services Kathy DeRuggiero is vice president of patient services for Johns Hopkins Medicine International. She collaborates across Johns Hopkins Medicine to ensure diverse patient populations from the United States and abroad receive quality care before, during and after their visit to Johns Hopkins. Click here to learn more about Kathy.

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