Children’s Hospital of the Future Foundation Members Study Progressive Experience in the Operation and Managing of Children’s Hospitals

30.03.2011, 17:53 Print version
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March 13-16, 2011, representatives of the Children’s Hospital of the Future Charitable Foundation visited Baltimore (Maryland), taking part in the annual conference of NACHRI (the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions). This year’s conference, Creating Connections, was dedicated to the organization of harmonious environment at children’s hospitals, enhancing conditions for patients’ recovery and the efficiency of medical and managerial staff.

Head of the Board of Directors of the Foundation Vira Pavliuk, Executive Director Olena Kovalenko, and Financial Director Rostyslav Zamlynsky had a chance to see with their own eyes methods and technologies used at children’s hospitals, and speak about the innovations they have studied..

NACHRI – is a rather influential and powerful organization, uniting the majority of children’s hospitals in the US. Its members are not only hospitals, but also institutions cooperating with them: non-profit organizations, foundations, law and design firms, information and analytical agencies, etc. A number of NACHRI members are hospitals in other countries (China, Italy, Canada, etc.).

By a longstanding tradition, March 13 the participants of the conference were given a tour of the city’s children’s hospitals. They visited Kennedy Krieger Institute and University of Maryland Hospital for Children.

During the tour of the University of Maryland Hospital for Children the hospital’s staff gave full information on the creation, development, and organization of its work. The guests visited the ER, fetal therapy, cardiology, oncohematology, surgery, radiology, and other units. They were able to see the well-coordinated work of the bif medical and non-medical team. The tour was interactive: the hospital staff members and guests shared their experienced and discussed ways of solving urgent routine problems.

The official opening of the Conference took place March 14. The first plenary session was moderated by renowned children’s neurosurgeon Professor Benjamin S. Carson. Dr. Carson has been head of Children’s Neurosurgery T John Hopkins University in Baltimore for over 25 years. In 1987 he was the first surgeon in the world to successfully separate twins conjoined at the back of the head; in 1997 in South Africa Dr. Carson was the primary surgeon who separated vertical craniopagus twins (joined at the top of the head); he also conducted  the first intra-uterine operation intended to reduce pressure on the brain of a hydrocephalic fetal twin. In spite of having performed many operations, received high medical awards, and becoming honorary member of many medical organizations, Dr. Carson believes that every medical case is unique and deserves maximum attention. Dr. Carson is interested in all aspects of children’s neurosurgery and has a great experience of helping children in other countries.

In his keynote speech Dr. Carson insisted on the need for thorough analysis before making various decisions: from selecting treatment for an individual patient to the organization of the medical process in general. The analysis should be based on the BWA principle (best-worst analysis). Only upon completing such analysis is a doctor able to assess the situation and work out an action plan with the detalization of time, human, material, and other resources.

On the basis of his personal experience, Mr. Carson has created many strategies for successful and effective management, decision-making, and self-perfection. He brought his theory to an acronym, THINK BIG:

T – Talent: everybody is born with one. All you have to do is get in touch with it.;

H – Honesty: you have to be honest and open with yourself, your family, your near and dear, your patients.;

I – Insight: you have to analyze and benefit from not just your own, but also other people’s mistakes, insights, and actions;

N – Nice: you have to be nice and sincere with patients, as well as other people;

K – Knowledge: you have to learn and study on a constant basis;

B – Books: this these partly repeats the previous but refers more to self-teaching, since we find the information we need primarily in books;

I – Individual: everybody has their individuality, including the children;

G – God: let Him be in your heart and soul.

During the Conference, around 70 workshops had been held, dedicated to various subject related to mothers’ and children’s health care.

1. Champions for Children’s Health Care Policy

Discussing issues related to the promotion of children’s health ideas by a hospital. Having a great amount of daily experience and dealing with all sorts of cases, hospitals accumulate a huge bulk of knowledge, useful for developing various health programs for children and adults. Additionally, hospitals have great opportunities in terms of collecting statistics included in compulsory three-annual reports. These sector’s workshops were dedicated to conducting, analyzing, and developing of such programs.

2. Children’s Hospital as Part of a Big Hospital

These workshops dealt with the structure of children’s hospitals, the volume and characteristics of their services, their place inside the hospital network, the development and introduction of a support system for children’s hospitals throughout the network of children’s health care.

Children’s hospitals inside bigger hospitals have to have clear concepts and strategies to obtain all-round support. A special emphasis is laid upon the cooperation with the community and NGOs.

3. Designer Opportunities

These workshops were dedicated to creating a unique healing environment, simultaneously increasing its logistic, medical, and technological efficiency and gaining support with the community. Using cultural component of the city/region in designer’s solutions for children’s hospital. Including into designer’s solutions elements of the natural and architectural environment together with museum items, elements of flora, fauna, underwater world, etc. Discussing how designer’s solutions influence patients’ recovery.

Another interesting issue was studying opportunities for involving families and other interested persons into the design process of the medical microenvironment. Families and patients take part in creating homely atmosphere, favorable for the child’s healing process, from the very start of planning the interiors. This cooperation helps find innovative solutions, increase public activity, attract additional investment, etc., and in the end of the day speeds up the recovery.

4. Philanthropy

These interactive sessions discussed strategic issues of children’s hospitals’ activities aimed at seeking additional funding and increasing hospital’s role in the community life. The participants had a chance to study the mechanism for the creation and functioning of boards of trustees and other committees involving persons of influence. These skills favor organization renovation, as well as extending influence areas and more active donors involvement. A hospital attracts additional attention and expands the range of potential donators through a series of publicity actions.

5. Public Policy

The workshops discussed political issues related to public health care. Developing and influencing health care programs on the state and national level. Establishing contacts with new members of the 112nd Congress and lobbying children’s health issues. Political climate fluctuations and their influence on hospitals’ work were discussed, aimed at finding additional potential and minimizing potential threats.

6. Public Relations and Communications

These workshops focused on promotion campaigns by children’s hospitals. Mass media remain a fertile ground for combining and using two powerful tools: relations and technologies.

Due to channels of communications, hospitals can present to the public information on the true situation in various areas of medicine, conduct educational events aimed at preventing disease, and activate necessary political decisions. Mass media are also viewed as a powerful tool in competition and information on latest achievements and successes.

For the public, mass media are media providing impartial information on a hospital, while specialized agency can give an objective rating.

7. Improving Service Quality and Patient Safety

At these workshops leading experts shared their experience in securing high-quality safe patient care and temporary accommodations for their families at the hospital.

Rapid and stable improvement of service quality requires clinic’s staff to constantly practice their skills. A great role in this process is played by real time models of technologies and methods with the help of educational programs and simulators in combination with developing service culture at children’s hospitals.

8. Information and Technology Systems in Pediatrics

These workshops discussed using IT in hospital management and administrative process, providing high quality patient care, efficient exchange of data for swift decision-making, protecting and limiting the access to internal information.

Considerable investment into IT is indispensable for developing medical information and management systems in pediatrics. Being high-cost at first sight, in 1 year and more prospective they bring significant economy of time and money.

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