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Quality Measures


Children's National Medical Center Mission includes World Class Care, Advocacy, Research, and Education

At Children’s, it is not just about achieving our mission, but how we get there. Quality is ensuring that we have the culture, structure and processes which are necessary to fulfill our mission.  

What does this mean to our patients?

We understand what matters most to families who visit Children’s: We strive to meet these needs in everything we do.

How we measure quality  

Children’s has adopted the following approach to measuring and monitoring quality:
  • Safe: We avoid injuries to patients from the care that is intended to help them.
  • Effective: We provide care based on scientific knowledge to all who could benefit
  • Family Centered: We provide care that is respectful and responsive to family preferences, needs and values. We communicate openly with families, and actively involve them in their children’s care.
  • Timely: We reduce waiting and delays for our patients and families
  • Efficient: We optimize the use of all of equipment, supplies, ideas, and energy while minimizing waste.
  • Equitable: We provide care that does not vary in quality based upon gender, ethnicity or family income
In the coming months, Children’s will be sharing specific measures of quality. We’d like to hear what matters most to you. Please tell us what you’d like to know about quality at Children’s.

Electronic Medical Records

Children’s National Medical Center is committed to providing the best care to all of our patients. We continually strive to find better ways to serve our community. One way that we are accomplishing this is by transitioning to an electronic patient care system, which uses the latest technology to provide quality care in the safest environment. The Sheikh Zayed Campus for Advanced Pediatric Medicine (main hospital) transitioned to an electronic medical record system in 2006. In 2009 all of Children’s Health Centers (primary care clinic) transitioned to an ambulatory care electronic medical record as part of Children’s IQ Network. And in 2010, Children’s affiliated private practice, Children’s National Specialists of Virginia, In the next two years, all of Children’s off-site locations will be fully equipped with EMRs.

Why EMRs Matter

Electronic medical records ensure consistency and completeness in patient records since all patient information is logged directly into a computer, eliminating errors due to illegible handwriting. Incomplete patient information often leads to errors, misdiagnoses, patient safety issues, and cost inefficiencies. At this time families are unable to view medical records online, but may contact the Medical Records office for a copy at 202-476-5267.

Improvements in Care Since Implementation
Since implementation of an EMR, Children’s National has collected objective data demonstrating positive results to improve patient safety:
  • Automated detection of adverse events and resultant reduction in preventable adverse events
  • Reduced verbal orders and unsigned verbal orders
  • Improved efficiency in specialty consultation with electronic physician documentation
  • Improved readability of the physician note with electronic physician documentation in comparison to paper documentation
  • Improved assessment and reassessment of pain
  • Elimination of medication order transcription and associated errors
  • Elimination of illegible written notes
  • Elimination of incomplete, illegible, and ambiguous hand-written prescriptions
  • Elimination of overdosing of intravenous medications through the use of smart infusion pumps
  • Improved nursing efficiency through automated data flow from monitors and ventilators to the electronic health record

Several studies from other children’s hospitals demonstrate a reduction in patient mortality coincidental to an EMR implementation. However, they were unable to demonstrate a cause and effect relationship. The Wall Street Journal had an article on one of these studies.

Medication Safety
Medication safety at Children’s National means more than providing children with the medications they need during their medical visits or hospitalization. Children’s medication safety program incorporates excellent bedside clinical care with state-of-the-art computerized tools to ensure children receive the medications they need for speedy recovery.

Helping Pediatricians Improve Care in the Community
The Children’s IQ Network®  is a health information exchange specifically designed for pediatrics. Healthcare delivery for children is unique given the significant impact of variation in patient size, developmental age, metabolism, and family structure on both health and illness. The Children’s IQ Network links the essential health information, such as physician visits, medications, allergies, problems, laboratory results, and immunization histories for children throughout the region.

Community pediatricians are able to purchase a subsidized EMR to replace paper records and improve healthcare delivery. The EMR Functionality allows the practicing physician to immediately access patient records electronically for improved care monitoring management; improve communication with specialty providers; and securely exchange essential health care data with other providers. With an EMR the documentation process allows the provider to achieve document legibility, elimination in redundancy, completeness and compliance in a rapid timeframe. Patient histories do not have to be solicited multiple times, and the patient’s visit is streamlined. Physician practices are able to deliver better continuity and coordination of patient care, and an improved bottom line while enhancing quality healthcare and outcomes for children around the region.

The Future for EMRs at Children’s National
In the next two years, every off-site location will be equipped with an electronic medical record. In addition, the Children’s IQ Network Data Hub will connect community physicians directly into the specialty provider record, ensuring flow of information and clinical coordination between primary care physicians and the specialists at Children’s National.

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