Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
FILE - Julie Jenkins RN at Primary Children's in Salt Lake talks with Nurses Tassa Thornton, PICU RN, Cami Weir, RN and Janice Southern, RN educator in Provo with camera and TV in the rooms, Staff at Utah Valley Hospital show their new pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) that is part of the Primary Children’s Network at Utah Valley Hospital in Provo on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018.

SALT LAKE CITY — While Primary Children's Hospital is highly esteemed among Utahns, it also ranks among the nation's best children's hospitals, according to a new report.

In U.S. News & World Report's rankings, the Utah hospital was recognized this week as one of the top 50 children's hospitals in several pediatric specialties.

Primary Children’s CEO and administrator, Katy Welkie, told the Deseret News the rankings "can be attributed to the hard work of so many caregivers, from both Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Utah School of Medicine, who have come together for the benefit of children at Primary Children’s Hospital."

This year's rankings are fairly consistent with past years, Welkie said, though scores have increased in some categories and decreased in others.

"We’ve seen great improvements in our infection prevention efforts, and this will continue to be one area of focus moving forward. But our primary focus will remain on value. For years Primary Children’s Hospital has been a leader in value and keeping costs of specialty pediatric care appropriate for families," Welkie explained.

In 2018, the hospital treated a daily average of 192 children, she said. Additionally, nearly 16,000 families received financial assistance last year, totaling more than $18 million, Welkie added.

"U.S. News doesn’t currently weigh value as a part of their rankings. We hope value can become part of the conversation when considering the best children’s hospitals in the country, as health care costs are a top concern of families nationwide."

U.S. News came up with the rankings by gathering data from nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide, according to its website. Using metrics including availability of services, nurse staffing, patient volume and treatment outcomes, the outlet compiles the list as a way to help people choose a hospital.

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"Not every community has a top-tier children’s hospital in their backyard. These rankings are one source that indicate the quality and care we provide to children not only in Utah, but in five surrounding states and beyond," Welkie said.

Categories in which Primary Children's Hospital ranked in the top 50:

• Neurology and neurosurgery, 27th.

• Cancer, 30th.

• Neonatal care, 32nd.

• Gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, 33rd.

• Orthopedics, 37th, a joint recognition in partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children – Salt Lake City.

• Cardiology and heart surgery, 41st.

• Urology, 42nd.

• Nephrology (treatment of kidney diseases), 44th.