Author: Emily Williams

Leveraging CRM tools to improve patient and family experience

Up close photo of a child with wording "putting patients first"

Many parents have hectic schedules, from shuttling their kids between extracurricular activities to helping construct this year’s science fair project. With so many balls in the air, it’s easy to let commitments slip, whether it’s a PTA meeting or a physician appointment. Simply helping families schedule an appointment isn’t enough. Patients and caregivers deserve prompt, clear messaging and reminders to keep physician appointments top of mind.

To help improve the patient and family experience, Boston Children’s Hospital recently established a digital transformation initiative. Here, Bill Gagnon, senior director of digital marketing, explains how the hospital created a personalized, streamlined digital experience for parents and their providers. …Read More

Time for a personalized approach to managing kidney stones?

kidney stones Friedhelm Hildebrandt nephrology

One in 10 people in their lifetime will have a kidney stone — a small, hard deposit of mineral and acid salts that can obstruct the drainage of urine, cause intense pain and, if not treated properly, lead to long-term kidney issues. Kidney stones are relatively uncommon in children, but the number of cases over the past two decades has risen.

The treatment for kidney stones has remained the same for decades — increased fluid intake, limited sodium intake, diuretics and potassium citrate therapy. Lifestyle factors are typically blamed for kidney stones, yet twin studies suggest a genetic component.

Our sister blog Vector spoke to Friedhelm Hildebrandt, MD, chief of the Division of Nephrology at Boston Children’s Hospital, about new research that supports pursuing a genetic diagnosis for kidney stones, especially in kids.

“The minute we find a mutation that causes disease, we have the cause of disease in hand,” Hildebrandt tells Vector. “And finding the cause has consequences for therapy.”

Learn more about research on personalized medicine for kidney stones on Vector.

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A liver transplant surgeon who wants to avoid liver transplants

Khashayar Vakili Vector liver transplant metabolic diseaseIn the clinical world, Boston Children’s Hospital surgeon Khashayar Vakili, MD, specializes in liver, kidney and intestinal transplant surgeries, while in the lab he is doing work that could help some patients avoid a transplant altogether.

Among other things, Vakili is exploring autologous hepatocyte transplantation for metabolic disorders, but with a twist. He and stem cell biologist Fernando Camargo, PhD, want to find out whether it is possible to correct enzyme deficiencies in a patient’s own hepatocytes and transplant them back into the liver.

Learn more about Vakili’s work in metabolic liver diseases and hepatocellular carcinoma on Vector.

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