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Children's National Cardiac ICU Quality and Safety Boards win Patient Safety Award

November 17, 2016

Children’s National is honored to receive the District of Columbia Hospital Association’s (DCHA) 2016 Patient Safety Award for developing and implementing Quality and Safety Boards in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (ICU), improving outcomes for some of our most fragile patients.  The Patient Safety Award is presented to an individual or group who has demonstrated commitment to improving the safety of patients, improving the quality of care, and reducing errors in medicine.

Identifying the clinical need to make better and quicker decisions, Brian Jacobs, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer, and the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit partnered to develop Quality and Safety Boards to improve patient health outcomes and experience in the hospital. The boards represent both a healthcare innovation and clinical care teamwork to own and integrate technology into practice, driving better outcomes and patient care.

In the Cardiac ICU, the boards display measures reflecting each patient’s risk for deep vein thrombosis, ventilator-acquired pneumonia, unplanned tracheal extubation, urinary tract infection, catheter-associated blood stream infections, and other important measures. The large-scale, digital monitors are refreshed every five minutes, allowing physicians, nurses, patients and family members to directly engage in the assessment of important safety and quality measures and deliver prompt preventative care for every patient.

In the Cardiac ICU, the boards have helped reduce the number of accidental extubations by allowing the care team to be more attentive to the location of the breathing tube in the youngest of patients, where the margin for error is much smaller. After initial trial and resounding success in the Cardiac ICU, the boards have now been implemented in the Pediatric ICU, the Neonatal ICU, and acute care units. In the Pediatric ICU, the boards have contributed to reduced infection rates and reduced the amount of time it can take to consent for treatment.

The Quality and Safety Boards have been recognized not only by DCHA but also by Magnet® as a best practice. These recognitions reflect Children’s ongoing commitment to improving safety and patient experience and providing the highest quality of care for our shared patients.

Plans have begun to disseminate the Safety and Quality Boards to other pediatric and adult hospitals, in an effort to help improve safety and quality across nation.