Hand Hygiene at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

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In the United States, an estimated 5 percent of patients develop an infection while hospitalized. That is nearly 2 million people infected each year. Although hand washing has long been regarded as the most effective preventative measure, estimates of hand hygiene compliance in the healthcare industry range from 40 to 70 percent. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is different, though. In fact, our audits reveal a sustained compliance rate of over 90 percent with many units exhibiting 100 percent compliance. What’s our secret? Listen in as we talk with Dr. Dennis Cunningham, Medical Director for Epidemiology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, about how Nationwide Children’s Hospital is leading the industry in hand washing compliance.

Want to learn more about Hand Hygiene at Nationwide Children’s Hospital? Click here to watch a video about our impressive hand hygiene compliance rates.

Pastoral Care at Nationwide Children’s Hospital

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For children and their families, a stay in the hospital can be a very stressful time. Pain, worry and fear of the unknown are often made harder by being away from family and friends. The Pastoral Care Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital aims to support families and staff going through difficult times and also to rejoice in happy occasions or successes. One unique feature to our program is its multicultural nature. We consider all cultural traditions, personal preferences and values, family situations, social circumstances, lifestyles and religions when advising patients, families and staff and creating services and programs. Our pastoral care staff is trained to address the most sensitive of issues that may take place in a children’s hospital. We recognize the importance of supporting our staff so that we, in turn, can provide the best possible care to our patients and their families. Listen in as the Rev. Susan Kyser, Director of Pastoral Care, joins me in discussing our program.

Effects of mother’s addiction on infants: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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When a pregnant woman uses addictive drugs (illicit or certain prescription drugs), she puts her baby at risk for a number of problems. Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a term for a group of problems a baby experiences after birth when withdrawing from exposure to narcotics or other addictive substances such as tobacco. These can be long-term, mental or physical in nature and are always harmful to the development of a child. NAS is on the rise all over the world, including central Ohio. Listen in as we discuss NAS and how Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s neonatal services staff have worked to combat its rise in central Ohio. Joining me are Erin Keels, manager of the neonatal nurse practitioners at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Jackie Schnieder, a neonatal pharmacist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Barry Halpern, MD, a neonatologist and Medical Director for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Special Care Nursery at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, OH.

Reducing the Frequency of Pediatric Pressure Ulcers

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A 2002 article regarding the incidence and prevalence of pressure ulcers in children reported from survey data that the incidence of pressure ulcers in children was less than 0.3 percent. In 2011, we know this not to be the case. In fact, hospital-acquired pressure ulcers are on the rise. Perhaps healthcare providers thought pressure ulcers were infrequent simply because we weren’t looking for them. We have made great strides here at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in reducing the frequency of pediatric pressure ulcers. What’s more, we are continuing our efforts to drive that frequency all the way down to zero. Listen in as Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s staff weighs in on this important issue: Michelle Miller, MD, Chief of the Section of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Michelle McKissick, Vice President of Surgical and Critical Care nursing and Leah Keller, Quality Improvement Coordinator and your host, Rick McClead, MD, Medical Director for Quality Improvement Services.

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Hospital-Acquired Infections

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There used to be a time when a certain amount of hospital-acquired infections were expected and accepted in the healthcare industry. Now, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is taking proactive measures to change that attitude and to prevent and reduce the number of hospital-acquired infections on its campus. And, as these infections decline, Nationwide Children’s is committed to maintaining these improvements through additional initiatives. Dennis Cunningham, MD, Medical Director of Epidemiology and Jodi Vinsel, Program Director of Epidemiology, specifically discuss how Nationwide Children’s Hospital is working to reduce five key infections: catheter-associated blood stream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, surgical site infections and various respiratory infections.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) – Part 2

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Our discussion of the electronic medical record continues as we address its advantages and disadvantages. One advantage: Electronic Medical Records increase the accessibility of a patient’s record; a doctor can access a patient’s information from any computer hooked up to the system. This may make for speedier, more accurate treatment. As with any major change, though, it will take time for doctors and staff to transition from an informal paper process to a more formal electronic method of record-keeping. In the long run, EMRs may allow for remote medicine, diagnosis, e-prescribing and other off-site treatment.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) – Part 1

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In a time where speed and accessibility are ever-growing priorities for businesses, it’s hard to believe that the healthcare industry has only recently made use of the electronic medical record (EMR). Healthcare has always been about information management, but only recently have hospitals recognized the value of the EMR. Listen in as David Rich, MD, Chief Medical Information Officer at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Jeff Hoffman, MD and Jim Menke, MD discuss why it’s taken so long for the industry to adopt this new technology and how Nationwide Children’s Hospital is among the top ten percent of hospitals throughout the country leading this transition. Be sure to listen in on part two of this podcast, as we continue our discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of the EMR.

Collaboration, Community Keys to Keep Me Well Program

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Nationwide Children’s Hospital is taking responsibility for its special health care needs population. How? By utilizing our extensive network, partnerships and resources to provide treatment and prevention services in five focus areas: obesity, prematurity, diabetes, asthma and health supervision. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Keep Me Well program is committed to ensuring that children with special health care needs meet their full potential. In this interview, Sean Gleeson, MD, Medical Director of Partners for Kids and Vice President for Community Health and Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, talks about the importance of a community-based approach to providing children with optimal health supervision. Nationwide Children’s Hospital is providing families, Columbus City Schools and the Health Department tools and information for measuring and handling these health concerns. Gleeson also notes the positive response from physicians and community leaders because this program is “giving people the permission to do the things they’ve always wanted to do.” Pam Carr, Executive Director of Partners for Kids, wraps up the discussion by talking about the bright future of the program and states that there are many conditions, populations and community partners the program can expand to include.

Keep Me Well

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In their August 25, 2010 commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, Howard Koh, MD, Assistant Secretary for Health, and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services describe the major components of the Affordable Care Act that was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama this Spring. The overriding theme of the legislation is a “vibrant emphasis on disease prevention” and health promotion. Too many Americans, especially our children, are not reaching their full potential because of preventable conditions like asthma, obesity, diabetes and hypertension. Koh and Sebelius believe that the law reaffirms the principle that “the health of the individual is almost inseparable from the health of the larger community. And the health of each community and territory determines the overall health status of the nation.” Promoting health and well-being is a key value of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. We are focusing on the health of the children of our “larger community” through our Keep Me Well program. In the next two Children’s on Quality podcasts, I interview the leaders of the Keep Me Well program, Pam Carr, Executive Director of Partners for Kids and Sean Gleeson, MD, Medical Director of Partners for Kids and Vice-President for Community Health and Wellness at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Children’s on Quality

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There has been an explosion in new technologies that are available at our fingertips.  How can these tools help us care for patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital? And how can healthcare providers take advantage of these technological phenomena to provide better overall medical care?  Join me on this edition of Children’s On Quality where we will discuss the possible clinical uses of the new technologies in patient care.  My guest experts from Nationwide Children’s Hospital are Kelly Kelleher, MD, a pediatric epidemiologist and Director of the Center for Innovation and Jennifer Dyer, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist.