Stories about: Quality & Safety

Reducing cast-saw injuries through simple simulation

cast saw image for notes blog

Casting is a fundamental technique within orthopedics that is used to fix fractures, help patients with deformities, and immobilize a limb after surgery. For a physician, it’s imperative to not only know how to apply the cast appropriately, but also how to remove it safely.

During cast removal, a cast saw can heat up to the point where it injures the patient by burning their skin. This often results in further, expensive clinical care. But more importantly, it is a painful and avoidable injury to the patient.

Donald S. Bae, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center, is the lead author on an article published in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery that details how a simple simulation program dramatically reduced cast-saw injuries. …Read More

Do hospital rankings matter?

Sree Bhagwat in the lobby of Boston Children's Hospital.
Bhagwat in the lobby of Boston Children’s Hospital

Everyone who works in health care is familiar with U.S. News and World Report’s annual Best Hospitals rankings. But the methods behind the numbers can seem complex and mysterious, even secretive. What do rankings really tell us about the quality of health care at various institutions? Are they even helpful? Do they impact care?

Sree Bhagwat, a senior marketing analyst at Boston Children’s Hospital who manages the hospital’s data collection and reporting to U.S. News, says “yes.”

“It’s not just about competition,” says Bhagwat. “It’s about improving the standards of health care everywhere. The rankings process reveals important metrics that can drive improvements in national health care. Data points are driven by expert clinicians who serve on the numerous U.S. News committees.”

…Read More

Nursing and patient experience: Six lessons learned after 42 years

Susan Shaw offers words of wisdom after 42 years of caring for children and families.

Recently retired as Vice President, Associate Chief of Nursing and Director of Clinical Operations at Boston Children’s Hospital, Susan Shaw discusses the power of patient experience and shares lessons learned from her 42-year career working with children and families. …Read More

Medication adherence: Lessons from kids with chronic conditions

medication adherenceThe American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five days per week.

The American Dental Association promotes flossing every day.

The Food and Drug Administration’s 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advises we consume less than 10 percent of our calories from added sugars, and also less than 10 percent from saturated fats.

How many of us actually do what we’re told, though?

The Center for Disease Control estimates that 80 percent of American adults do not follow the exercise recommendation, and a survey by a dental association found that 60 percent of adults do not follow the flossing guidelines. With almost two thirds of Americans now overweight, our collective commitment to those pesky dietary guidelines falls short as well. As a group, it seems we are not very good at following doctors’ orders. …Read More