5 Effective Quality Improvement Initiatives for Children's Health

5 Effective Quality Improvement Initiatives for Children's Health

Children’s hospitals share successful QI programs others can replicate to improve care and outcomes.

Together, children’s hospitals and health systems are working to improve health outcomes, experiences, and value for children and families in their communities. They are making improvements not only in clinical care but also tackling the challenges of behavioral health, advancing health equity, and adapting workforce and employee well-being strategies.

Here are five initiatives with proven results.

1. Reducing missed appointments by addressing social needs

A project to reduce missed appointments at ambulatory clinics revealed an opportunity to remove disparities that impede access to care. After discovering underrepresented groups missed appointments at higher rates, Seattle Children's developed a model that predicted a patient’s probability of missing an appointment with 89% accuracy.


2. One-stop solution to social drivers of health

When a patient arrives at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Health Pavilion, they’re greeted with “welcome” in their language—Soo Dhawow, Bienvenue, Chao Mung. This small gesture represents the big ambition of the Aurora Health Pavilion, which is home to eight different social service partners through a department called Resource Connect.


3. A solution to psychiatrist shortages

Cohen Children’s Medical Center developed a behavioral health care model centered on schools, with one behavioral health center serving as a hub for multiple districts. Staffed by board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrists, licensed mental health counselors, and care coordinators, the centers provide psychiatric assessments and short-term crisis care.


4. Launching a multi-year, multi-site collaborative

Launched in 2016, the Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) collaborative brought together 66 children’s hospitals and health systems to improve outcomes for children with sepsis. Using multimodal quality improvement (QI) methodologies, evidence-based care bundles, and data-driven performance evaluation, the collaborative decreased mortality rates and hospital days among children with sepsis.


5. One adorable way to reduce staff injuries

After experiencing a rise in staff injuries and use of restraints in behavioral health patients, Dayton Children’s incorporated child life specialists and their facility dogs into the behavioral health care team. In many studies, facility dogs have been shown to reduce stress, pain, and anxiety, almost no matter the diagnosis.

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