Children’s Health℠ is committed to providing comprehensive and superior care to the region’s children. It meets that goal not only by recruiting the best clinicians and providing opportunities for them to play a leading role in nationally recognized research, but also through the innovative use of technology and reliance on evidence-based techniques.
The rigorous use of best practices at Children’s Health is key to its unique recognition by the Joint Commission, the nation’s leading certifying, accrediting, and regulatory body in heath care, which has certified seven disease-specific care programs at Children’s Health.
These certifications recognize the consistent delivery of the highest possible quality of care, which results in improved outcomes. Further evidence of the commitment to best practices at Children’s is the fact that no other pediatric hospital in the nation has had more than two disease-specific care programs certified by The Joint Commission.
The award-winning implementation of electronic health records (EHR) by Children’s Health has also helped increase patient safety and improve the quality of care. It has fostered consistent outcomes by enabling the use of clinical pathways—guidelines embedded into the hospital workflow—that allow clinicians to standardize care.
By reducing variation, these pathways help prevent unnecessary or ineffective therapeutic interventions. By providing quality guidelines, they ensure that patients will be treated with the highest standard of care. As a result, they enhance safety, improve patient outcomes, and increase the quality of treatment.
For example, Children's Health developed and launched clinical pathways for three of the most common diagnoses among its patients—asthma, bronchiolitis, and appendicitis.
Interdisciplinary teams reviewed best practices across the entire continuum of care—including the patient’s initial visit to a primary care provider, the hospital experience, and aftercare by the primary provider—to create guidelines establishing the best practices for treating patients with similar conditions.
The results support the pathways’ contribution to consistent outcomes. Patients with appendicitis, for example, were found to need fewer radiographic imaging studies and had a reduced need for postoperative antibiotics when clinical pathways guided their treatment. Similarly, children whose treatment was guided by asthma and bronchiolitis pathways had shorter hospital stays.