How Children’s Hospitals Are Approaching Quality

How Children’s Hospitals Are Approaching Quality

Children’s hospitals are considering how to expand their focus and redesign their care delivery systems for better outcomes.
Teen girls talk in a support group.

Together, children’s hospitals are working to improve health outcomes, experience and value for children and families in their communities. Hospitals and health systems are rethinking their role in broader health issues, building on foundational quality efforts and examining new challenges and opportunities. This includes digging deeper into areas such as health equity and behavioral health—areas that can be major factors in children’s overall health.

Patient-centered care remains key

  • Redesigning care to improve quality outcomes is essential to improving patient and family satisfaction and reducing the cost of care. Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego created a nurse-led, interprofessional collaborative focused on whole-child care, including social, physical, medical and emotional needs.
  • Appointments are typically scheduled based on hospital needs and provider schedules. This can result in missed appointments, added stress and financial impact for patients with complex medical conditions who must attend several appointments a month. Driscoll Children's Hospital took a new approach to scheduling by focusing on patient needs.

Workforce challenges as a quality improvement effort

  • As health care workers are burning out, a systems-oriented well-being strategy is essential. While individual-level wellness efforts may be helpful, they don't always address the underlying root causes. The well-being and continuous improvement teams at Nemours Children’s Health partnered to change that.
  • In the past 20 years, simulation-based training has grown exponentially. It plays an essential role in enhancing clinical skills and patient care and training clinicians while moving the needle on persistent quality and safety issues.

New programs to address health disparities

  • Information from EMRs can empower a team-led improvement process focusing on data to achieve results. This includes reduced disparities in the post-tonsillectomy nausea and vomiting from 9% to 0% for Black patients.
  • Seattle Children’s set their focus on journey mapping and participatory design. By uncovering challenges faced by patients and families in rural Alaska, care teams at Seattle Children’s were able to focus on specific points of inequity and improve them. 
  • Following feedback from patients about their disparate experiences, a multidisciplinary team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital devised a plan to develop and implement structures, processes and supports to address the barriers to sustaining breastfeeding.

These quality efforts and more were featured at CHA’s Transforming Quality Conference. Members can visit the event website to view presentations and learn more about how children’s hospitals are improving care for all children.

About Quality

Children's hospitals are working to accelerate the curve and achieve bigger gains in improvement of outcomes for patients and families.

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