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Implementing a Patient Safety and Quality Program Across Two Merged Pediatric Institutions

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Background: Academic centers are among the health care organizations that have used consolidation as a strategy to improve efficiency and reduce costs. In 1997, the New York Hospital and The Presbyterian Hospital underwent a full-asset merger to become New York City's largest medical center, known as the New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). In 2006, recognition of the challenges of the Children's Service Line at NYPH led to the formation of a Patient Safety and Quality Program to deliver consistently safe and effective health care.

Creating a Bicampus Pediatric Quality and Safety Team: Each campus has a children's quality council, an interdisciplinary group that discusses and prioritizes safety and quality issues. The quality councils from each campus report directly to a bicampus children's quality steering committee formed to ensure that similar safety practices and standards are implemented across both children's hospitals. A safety subcommittee, which primarily coordinates and follows up on leadership safety walk rounds, and a significant-events subcommittee, which reviews morbidities and mortalities, report to each hospital's quality council.

Program Priorities and Initiatives: The bicampus pediatric quality and safety program is organized around five broad themes: improving the culture of safety, reducing the frequency of health care–acquired infections, reducing harm in the health care setting, using information technology to improve the quality and safety of care provided to patients and families, and measuring the effectiveness of care in key areas. Two sample initiatives—building family engagement and prevention of adverse medication events—illustrate the program's successes and challenges.

Conclusions: Developing a pediatric safety and quality program across two campuses has been challenging but has led to important improvements at both organizations.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Published monthly, The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety is a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to providing health professionals with the information they need to promote the quality and safety of health care. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety invites original manuscripts on the development, adaptation, and/or implementation of innovative thinking, strategies, and practices in improving quality and safety in health care. Case studies, program or project reports, reports of new methodologies or new applications of methodologies, research studies on the effectiveness of improvement interventions, and commentaries on issues and practices are all considered.

    David W. Baker, MD, MPH, FACP, executive vice president for the Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation at The Joint Commission, is the inaugural editor-in-chief of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

    Also known as Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement and Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Safety
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