Children’s Medical Center is the chief teaching facility for one of the world’s premier research institutions, the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where its medical staff conducts leading edge studies that enhance the understanding of pediatric illnesses and leads to the development of cutting edge therapies.
Standing among only 14 national pediatric research centers sanctioned by the National Institutes of Health, its clinical and medical staff members conduct clinical research in cancer; infectious diseases; neonatology; psychiatry; and cardiothoracic, sickle cell, and kidney diseases, among other pediatric illnesses.
Innovation in clinical practice, performance improvement, and the use of technology make Children’s a forerunner in the delivery of quality care for the region’s children, and a model for the facilities in North Texas and beyond. Because the hospital is routinely honored not only for being the best, as evidenced by many indicators of quality, but also for being the first in numerous achievements—first in Texas, in the United States, and first around the world—it’s become a pacesetter for other institutions.
What’s made the following innovations possible, and among the reasons U.S. News & World Report has consistently named Children’s one of the leading pediatric hospitals in the United States, are the center’s employment of the most expert care providers, its pioneering clinical research, and the educational opportunities it provides.
- Children’s, where congenital heart disease is diagnosed as early as 18 weeks’ gestation, was the first hospital in the nation to receive the Joint Commission Disease Specific Care Program certification for fetal heart disease.
- It’s the only institution in Texas with a comprehensive Solid Organ Transplant Program with a multidisciplinary approach, and its doctors performed the first pediatric multivisceral transplant in Texas. One of its doctors participated in the first successful kidney transplant in Albania as part of an international team.
- The nation’s leading healthcare accrediting and certifying regulatory body, the Joint Commission, has certified seven Disease-Specific Care Programs at Children’s, including the Autism Evaluation and Diagnostic Program, the first certified autism program in the nation. Children’s leads the nation’s pediatric hospitals in Joint Commission certifications. It’s the only pediatric facility with certifications in epilepsy and pain management as well as the nation’s only pediatric diabetes education program to receive a Disease-Specific Care Certification by the Joint Commission. These certifications enhance staff recruitment and demonstrate a commitment to performance improvement and a higher standard of care.
- Children’s also takes leading honors for innovation in technology that drives superior patient care. A recognized leader in health information technology, it was one of the earliest adopters of electronic health records, electronic order code entry, and bar code administration as a medication safety measure. It was an early participant in the Health Information Exchange, which allows for vital patient information to be shared electronically. Children’s participated with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in its personal health record pilot program called Ignite! In recognition of its leading-edge application of health care technology, Children’s in 2013 was named an Enterprise HIMSS Davies Award of Excellence winner, and in 2014 it became the first and only hospital chosen by the Texas Health Services Authority and the Health Information Trust Alliance to receive the Texas Covered Entity Privacy and Security Certification, demonstrating its commitment to protecting the privacy of children’s health information.
- Taking a further leap forward in the use of healthcare technology to save lives, the center launched the Children’s Medical TeleNICU service, a first of its kind program in Texas to allow examination of newborns at distant locations by board-certified neonatologists through the use of two-way, real-time interactive communication.