Quality Care

  • Transforming Children's Health Never Ends and for Good Reason

    Posted March 27, 2015 by Charles Homer, MD, MPH

    From its founding, NICHQ was the leading voice articulating the need for improvement in children’s healthcare. Speaking credibly to the academic, professional and policy communities, we emphasized that quality of care was important to child health, and that it needed focused attention. The improvement journey is hard work and it never ends, but we’re in a better place and have the knowledge, people and tools we need to continue improving the lives of children and families in the months and years ahead.

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  • Eliminating Disparities: from Intent to Action

    Posted March 25, 2015 by Charles Homer, MD, MPH

    In recent months, our nation has experienced an escalation of difficult “conversations” about the persistence of racism, the injustices of income inequality, and the harm that discrimination inflicts on us all. Perhaps more than anywhere else, these issues are inescapable in our healthcare system and manifest themselves in the health outcomes of our children.

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  • One Step Closer to a Patient-Centered Healthcare System

    Posted March 19, 2015 by Cindy Hutter

    NICHQ’s Chief Financial Officer and ardent patient engagement advocate, Tom Dahlborg, MSM, has written extensively about the need for patient-centered care. Dahlborg represents NICHQ on the National Quality Forum’s patient and family engagement action team. The team recently released a Patient Passport tool that encourages better patient engagement with providers.

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  • Improving Statewide Breastfeeding Rates through the Learning Collaborative Model

    Posted March 06, 2015 by Kristen Holmstrand

    NICHQ recently spoke with Veronica Hendrix, LVN, IBCLC, RLC, program coordinator for the Texas Ten Step Program, to get her perspective and advice for other states seeking to expand breastfeeding rates and support.

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  • Snowballs Used to Be Cool

    Posted February 26, 2015 by Jack Maypole, MD

    Boston’s historical snowfall has crippled transit systems, stressed overtaxed social support networks and created insurmountable challenges for all. But, most especially, it has created substantially more difficult—and at times potentially dangerous—conditions for parents of medically complex children who have marginal access to care in the best of times.

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  • Breastfeeding Collaboratives Provide Road Map for Long-Term Success

    Posted February 16, 2015 by Kristie Velarde

    Increasing exclusive breastfeeding rates can seem like a lofty goal for some hospitals, particularly when rates hover below 20 percent. Several hospitals participating in NICHQ-led learning collaboratives found a path that not only brought double-digit growth, but also set the stage for Baby-Friendly designation. Now these hospitals are using best practices to sustain breastfeeding rates and improve outcomes in other clinical areas.

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  • Sickle Cell Pain Protocol Reduces Wait Times for Meds and Eases Patient Frustration

    Posted February 13, 2015 by Rachel Kremen

    To improve the care of its sickle cell patients, Boston Medical Center developed a drug protocol that makes it possible to make quick, accurate decisions about acute care. As a result, the average time to first dose of medication for sickle cell patients experiencing a pain crisis dropped from nearly an hour to 22 minutes. ER staff also stopped second-guessing sickle cell patients asking for pain killers.

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  • Breastfeeding Success Depends On Support During Pregnancy As Much As After

    Posted February 09, 2015 by Pamela Berens, MD

    Most new moms have heard the message that breastfeeding is best for the health of their baby. Unfortunately, successfully meeting a breastfeeding goal isn’t always as easy as deciding to breastfeed. Having ongoing education about breastfeeding during pregnancy can help just as much as post pregnancy, yet it is often not emphasized enough.

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  • Managing the Universe of Special Healthcare Needs

    Posted November 17, 2014 by Katrina McCarty, MPA

    A vast universe of symptoms, medications, complications, specialists and tests constantly surround my friend Julie. She is 38 and has Type 1 diabetes (T1D), which she was diagnosed with at age 10. Her quest for a long and prosperous future of good health is both harrowing and inspiring.

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  • Viewing Health as a System

    Posted March 07, 2014 by Charlie Homer, MD, MPH

    Improvement science teaches us to view outcomes—such as health—as the inevitable product of a system, with the implication that achieving improved outcomes requires changing the system itself. A deep understanding of the system and how it functions can enable smarter decisions about selecting high leverage changes in order to improve system performance.

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  • Improvement - A Philosophy to Live By

    Posted January 11, 2014 by Meghan Johnson, MSc

    For as long as I can remember, I have been working to make things more organized, effective and efficient. I have spent countless hours organizing and reorganizing things in my life – everything from my son’s toys and games to the storage of our digital photos. It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that I have spent over a decade in project management and just over a year ago, found my way to NICHQ and discovered quality improvement science.

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  • Removing the Burden of Care Coordination

    Posted January 06, 2014 by Cindy Hutter, MBA

    I had never heard of the concept of a medical home before coming to NICHQ, but I’ve now seen what is possible in a patient-focused system where primary care physicians and specialists coordinate to deliver high-quality healthcare. In situations like mine, where there are no established protocols to follow, the need for a medical home is most critical—and paradoxically, most lacking.

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