A message of gratitude: Thank you for making Boston Children’s #1

The 2017-18 U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings were released this morning, and thanks to all of you, Boston Children’s Hospital has once again been named the #1 children’s hospital in the nation.

We know how much these results mean to you when deciding to partner with us in caring for your patients and families — particularly when they need to travel great distances. This ranking is a testament to your partnership and the trust that you and your families have placed in us. We will never stop striving to earn that trust, and we will always provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for all families, whether they’re coming from just down the street or from across our global community.

While we can’t capture all of the moments that went into this ranking, we’ve created this video to give you just a taste of what can happen when all of us — researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, patients and families — strive together to make the impossible possible.

For all you do, for your families and for the Community of Care that we have built together, thank you.

 

Warmest regards,

Sandra L. Fenwick

President and CEO

 

Kevin B. Churchwell

EVP of Health Affairs and COO

Preparing patients for spinal fusion surgery

A nurse assists as a spinal fusion surgery patient practices giving a medical dummy an IV drug.
Hands-on experience before surgery day: A simulation of what to expect during spinal fusion surgery.

Several studies have contributed to the school of thought that thoroughly preparing patients for surgery can reduce their anxiety and even lead to better recoveries and outcomes. That notion appears to be corroborated by the first-hand experience of Michael Glotzbecker, MD, a pediatric spine specialist and surgeon in the Boston Children’s Hospital Spinal Program.

“In my experience, patients do better when they are well prepared for surgery,” says Glotzbecker. …Read More

Managing anxiety in primary care pediatrics

managing anxiety in children

Anxiety is common in children and adolescents, but at what point does it cross the line and become a mental health concern? Notes posed this question to clinical psychologist Keneisha Sinclair-McBride, PhD, and child psychiatrist Olivia Carrick, MD, both in the Department of Psychiatry at Boston Children’s, and asked their management advice. …Read More

Quick Note: Improving nighttime communications in the hospital

hospital communications

It’s now well known that breakdowns in communications are a leading cause of hospital medical errors, contributing to more than 60 percent of serious adverse events. Efforts such as I-PASS, which standardize communications during patient “handoffs,” have cut harmful medical errors by 30 percent.

But nighttime care, which evidence suggests is particularly error-prone, has been somewhat overlooked. Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital, led by Alisa Khan, MD, MPH and Christopher Landrigan, MD, MPH, also wanted to incorporate parents’ experience, which had been missing in nighttime communications when families were asleep. In this study in Academic Pediatrics, Khan, Landrigan and colleagues prospectively evaluated a family-centered, multidisciplinary nighttime communication intervention.

The intervention was developed with input from parents, nurses and medical residents, as well as the hospital’s Family Advisory Council, residency program and nursing leadership. It consisted of a short, early-evening nurse–physician briefing session at about 7:30 p.m.; a bedside, family-centered huddle in I-PASS format between 8 and 9 p.m.; and, for selected patients, a nightly family update sheet.

The team prospectively followed patients, parents and nighttime providers on two pediatric inpatient units at Boston Children’s. They surveyed parents and providers both pre-intervention (May-October 2013) and post-intervention (May-October 2014) and compared their answers.

The intervention wasn’t fully adopted by staff, but it did improve some aspects of communication. Providers’ experience improved in several domains. Parents reported more of a sense of shared understanding with nurses and a better experience communicating with nighttime doctors.

But several communication parameters did not improve, highlighting the importance of continued family involvement in research and design of the interventions. The ongoing multicenter Patient and Family Centered I-PASS Study is now testing several enhancements.