• Article
  • March 8, 2016

5 Award-Winning Pediatric Quality Improvement Ideas

From 76 entries, the Pediatric Quality Award judges narrowed the field. All entries brought quality improvement practices to light that other children's hospitals could replicate.

From a sustained reduction in the length of stay for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome to reducing radiation exposure, the 2015 Pediatric Quality Award (PQA) uncovered major improvement work happening in children's hospitals. After reviewing 76 entries from 46 members, expert judges selected 12 projects as semifinalists in one of four categories. 

"As the judges reviewed the entries, we were struck by how visionary the work was," says Helen Burstin, chief scientific officer, National Quality Forum. "The entries were willing to take on culture change, and it's not easy work. They took on what matters, found gnarly, hard problems and identified solutions."

CHA honored the semifinalists and announced the winners at an awards luncheon at the 2016 Quality and Safety in Children's Health Conference on March 8 in New Orleans. Here's a look at the winners and the practices that successfully improved patient care, transformed care delivery and reduced costs. 

Overall winner and clinical care category winner

Sustained Reduction in LOS for Neonates with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital
Outcomes over five years: 70 percent reduction in length of stay; $1.2 million reduction in costs.

Category winners

Delivery system transformation: 
Developing Future Improvement Leaders: Experiental QI Training in Residency
Levine Children's Hospital at Carolinas HealthCare System
Outcomes over three years: 600 children impacted each month; 82 percent residents identified as QI leaders.

Patient safety and reduction of harm:
Reducing Radiation Exposure: Pediatric Modified Barium Swallow Studies
Doernbecher Children's Hospital at OHSU
Outcomes over three years: 50 percent reduction in radiation exposure; 2,000 minutes of staff exposure prevented.

Waste reduction/improved efficiency
Decreasing Hospital LOS for Post-Operative Adolescent Spinal Fusion Patients
Children's of Alabama
Outcomes: $800,000 ROI in 10 months; 50 percent reduction in length of stay.

New: Distinctive achievement award, recognizing a high-quality project that is easily implementable and demonstrates unique efforts:
Using Quality Improvement to Reduce Necrotizing Enterocolitis Across Hospital Systems
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center
Outcomes over five years: 49 cases prevented; $5.7 million reduction in cost.

Thanks to all members who submitted their work. We'll promote all entries across the CHA membership in 2016 because sharing these experiences is an important part of the PQA program. 

View all 76 award entries, videos and more.