• Article
  • November 6, 2019

4 Lessons Learned When Creating a Standard of Care in a Health System

Weaving together children’s and adult hospitals into one system can create varied standards of care. This hospital system keeps the needs of children at the forefront while integrating hospitals and expanding care access.

Yale New Haven Children’s Health System has locations and providers spread across southern Connecticut. Hospital leaders saw a need to create system standards by integrating clinical standards and program development. Over a 10-year period, the health system evolved its growth strategy to ensure services were more accessible to patients. The health system integrated seven hospitals, including adult and pediatric-specific care.

One key to creating a standard of care is including all the system members in the dialogue. Cynthia Sparer, MPA, senior vice president, Yale New Haven Hospital and executive director, Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, presented the system strategy at the 2019 Annual Leadership Conference. She says system members meet each month to review a strategy scorecard. They use the at-a-glance document to track integration progress.

Sparer says when members of the leadership team started developing the health system, they realized they didn’t have a lot of pediatric structure. Teams have since completed 12 system clinical care pathways and are in the process of developing six more.

Sparer highlighted these lessons learned in the ongoing effort to deliver standardized care for kids in the hospital system:

  • Culture eats structure for lunch.
  • Communication and engagement are critical when managing through change.
  • Use the power of data.
  • Keep the patient and family at the center.

A system integration can benefit pediatric patients in the long term. Sparer says alignment between hospitals within the system deliver better transitions out of pediatric care to adult care.

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