• Article
  • September 19, 2018

Insights from Award-winning Quality Improvement Project Leaders

The 2017 Pediatric Quality Award recognized outstanding work in patient care and quality improvement. Learn more about the five award-winning initiatives.

Every two years, Children's Hospital Association's Pediatric Quality Award (PQA) celebrates member hospitals that are making strides in patient care and quality improvement. Sixty hospitals submitted more than 110 entries for the 2017 award. Submissions highlighted work in four categories: clinical care, delivery system transformation, patient safety and reduction of harm, and waste reduction/improved efficiency.

Judges announced four category winners and one overall winner at the 2018 Quality & Safety Conference. Learn more about the projects and how you can implement them in your hospital during an upcoming webinar series. Here's a sneak peek:

Reducing Serious Safety Events

Judges named Yale New Haven Children's Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, the overall winner of the 2017 PQA. Driven by the goal to be among the safest children's hospitals in the country, Yale New Haven initiated a project to significantly reduce serious safety events (SSEs). When the project began, the hospital had an inadequate system for reporting safety events and no process for following up on SSEs. The goal was to decrease the number of SSEs to less than two per year. With 12 new interventions put in place, including some that more easily helped identify SSEs, Yale New Haven brought their SSE rate down to zero.

Watch Yale New Haven's webinar recording.

Timely Antibiotic Delivery in Pediatric Oncology

Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville worked to maximize pediatric oncology patient safety with the Code Yellow initiative, which won the Specialty Care Award in the clinical care category. The hospital developed a QI process to ensure timely delivery of antibiotics for patients admitted to the emergency department (ED), outpatient oncology clinic or the inpatient unit with a fever and neutropenia. Staff identified barriers in getting these patients the medication they need and increased the number of children who received antibiotics within one hour by 59 percent.

Watch Monroe Carell's webinar recording. 

Reducing Waste of a High-Cost Medication

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia won the waste reduction/improved efficiency category with their efforts to reduce waste of the high-value drug isoproterenol. Providers primarily use the life-saving medication in the cardiac and pulmonary hypertension patient population. But in 2015, the drug's price drastically increased. Additionally, a drug shortage enhanced the need to conserve the medication. By identifying the major sources of isoproterenol waste and developing a quality improvement framework that altered how the medication was delivered, total spend for isoproterenol was reduced $1.2 million between fiscal years 2016-2017.

Watch Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's webinar recording. 

Eliminating Unplanned Extubations in the PICU

Ochsner Hospital for Children in New Orleans aimed to reduce unnecessary hospital stays by eliminating unplanned extubations in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), and were named the patient safety and reduction of harm category winner. Not only are unplanned extubations associated with an increase in cost, but they can also lead to severe health complications, including hypoxia, infection and airway trauma. By reducing unplanned extubations from 1.4 to 0.7 per 100 ventilator days in just one year, the project saved the hospital nearly $250,000 and prevented 43 unnecessary hospital days. By reaching zero following the first year of the project, the additional costs and hospital stays have been eliminated.

Watch Ochsner Hospital for Children's webinar recording. 

Reducing ED Visits in Kids with Asthma

Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, made a thoughtful effort to keep children with asthma out of the ED. The project, which was the 2017 PQA Primary Care Award winner in the clinical care category, saved Nationwide Children's $5.2 million in six years and reduced the number of ED visits in its Primary Care Network (PCN) for children with asthma by 24 percent. Kids within this PCN are predominantly on Medicaid and demographically have a higher risk of asthma morbidity, but there were 852 fewer hospital days for this population.

Watch Nationwide Children's webinar recording. 

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