As the nation’s leaders in children’s health, children’s hospitals continually improve and innovate to advance patient care. This year marked an urgent need to address workforce and behavioral health challenges, as well as advance technological innovations to stay at the forefront of pediatric health care. At Children’s Hospital Association, we regularly publish articles featuring our member hospitals’ success stories and strategies to provide administrators, directors, managers and those on the front-line insights and ideas to improve performance and patient care.
In 2023, we published 111 articles. Here’s a look at our readers’ favorites.
1. How to Cultivate a Happy Workforce
As children’s hospitals grapple with unprecedented workforce turnover, many have turned to a holistic framework developed to bring joy back to the health care profession. The IHI Framework for Improving Joy in Work outlines nine critical components of a system for ensuring a joyful, engaged workforce and the steps leaders and teams can take to get there.
2. Creating a New Supply Chain for Continuous Albuterol
In the summer of 2022, children’s hospitals across the country started to see a potential shortage in albuterol, an essential drug for children suffering from a reactive airway disease like asthma. Children’s Hospital Association worked with members to identify their needs and partnered with STAQ, a 503B outsourcing facility, to produce a stable supply of albuterol for pediatric patients amid the critical shortage.
3. Addressing Health Care Equity Through Hair
In 2018, St. Louis Children’s Hospital discovered a Black patient had gone a week without hair care because staff did not know how to properly provide care. In response, the hospital developed a hair care equity program. In addition to sourcing the proper hygiene products, the team built a training curriculum that included instructional videos, care product description sheets, scripting prompts for caregivers and even a mobile simulation cart, complete with mannequins for nurses to hone their skills.
4. 5 Tips to Level Up Your Leadership
As a child, Chanda Chacón had a challenging health care experience that made her realize how systems and organizations could make it difficult for staff to do great work. That inspired her to want to help families better navigate the health care system and to create systems that allow people to excel. Throughout her journey to becoming CEO at Children’s Nebraska, she learned several key lessons that have helped her accelerate that drive for excellence in herself and others.
5. A Resourceful Way to Meet Behavioral Health Staffing Demands
Facing widespread staffing shortages and increasing patient needs in late 2020 and early 2021, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago reached out across its organization for extra hands to assist its strained nursing staff in any way possible. That simple request turned into a larger and more impactful project: an official labor pool of behavioral health sitters that accounted for nearly 7,000 hours of coverage in one year.
6. Health Care Robots: Staffing Strategy of the Future
Moxi is a 4-foot-tall, 300-pound robot at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) that travels between pharmacy and patient floors fulfilling medication requests 24 hours a day. The robot was a solution to the inefficiencies of pharmacy technicians walking medications across CHLA’s campus. In two and a half months, Moxi made more than 1,400 deliveries, traveled 73 miles and saved staff 900 hours.
7. Integrating Behavioral Health for Better Outcomes
Like most children’s hospitals, Nemours Children’s Health experienced a rise in frequency and severity of behavioral health issues among pediatric patients. In response, it developed an Integrated Behavioral Health IBH) model to enhance access to care and improve outcomes by making behavioral health a part of a patient’s primary medical home. In the program’s initial six-month rollout, the hospital completed nearly 1,300 behavioral health patient encounters.
8. Staffing Strategy: Centralized Hiring Hub Speeds Nurses to the Bedside
Facing hundreds of open positions across the organization, Texas Children’s Hospital revamped its hiring process by creating a centralized hub to support the rapid hiring and onboarding of qualified candidates. The nursing hiring hub streamlined the hiring process, reducing the average time from job application to onboarding from 180 days to 45 days.
9. How to Improve Financial Stewardship in Hospital Leaders
How can a children’s hospital maintain its focus on fiscal concerns when its bottom line is ensuring optimal outcomes for the children in its care? For Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, it was a financial stewardship program launched in 2017, which has accounted for more than $300 million in cost savings and revenue generation.
10. A Sensory Program to Help Calm Patients in the Hospital
To meet the unique needs of patients with sensory processing disorders, Dayton Children’s Hospital created a sensory program with coping plans, sensory-friendly rooms and calmer environments. Since the program’s inception, use of the room equipped with pre-surgery calming medications for patients has dropped from 90% of procedures to about 20%.