Quality and Safety

At Children’s National, we aim to provide safe, quality care to all our patients. To us, quality means ensuring that we have the culture, structure, and processes necessary to fulfill our mission.

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 

Initiatives to Improve Quality

At Children’s National, we have implemented several programs that focus on continuously improving our quality and safety.

Electronic Medical Records

Children’s National has transitioned to an electronic patient care system, which uses the latest technology to provide quality care in the safest environment. 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.

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.

Vaccine Compliance

In order to ensure the safest environment for our patients and staff, all Children’s National staff are required to receive a flu vaccine every year (with few exceptions for medical or religious reasons). In addition, staff members who work directly with patients need to have the DTaP (Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis) vaccine up to date.

Children’s Hospital Association Collaboratives

Partnerships among pediatric hospitals nationwide help hospitals work together on common problems to increase safety, effectiveness, and efficiency. Hospitals learn improvement techniques, share strategies, and challenge each other to improve quickly and sustain improvements throughout their organizations.

Partnerships for Patients

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services created a public-private partnership, called Partnerships for Patients, to improve the quality, safety, and affordability of healthcare. Children’s National joined the Children’s Hospitals’ Solutions for Patient Safety network, partnering with other children’s hospitals to share data and improve patient safety and quality.

Simulation Training

Children’s National uses clinical simulation training to teach and improve teamwork and communication in critical care and ambulatory care clinics. The goal of this program is to improve safety in all facets of patient care delivery and contribute to the development of a high reliability organization.

Focus on Performance Improvement

Children’s National has adopted multiple strategies to prepare leaders and staff to participate in quality initiatives. Examples include:

  • Traditional classroom offerings
  • Project-based learning, where participants conduct a performance-improvement initiative
  • Webinars and web-based training, offered in conjunction with external organizations like the Institute for Healthcare Improvement
  • Quality collaboratives

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.

External Quality Measures

We make safety and quality an integral part of our approach to caring for children, and believe we have some of the highest standards around. But we understand many parents want to know more and be sure they are looking at all options before making a decision.

There are several external organizations that provide information and release reports on quality. We’ve listed them below and encourage you to review and compare their information as part of your decision-making process. If you have specific questions, our team is available to help and provide more information.

National Committee for Quality Assurance

The NCQA focuses on improving healthcare quality by developing quality standards and performance measures. The NCQA seal is a widely recognized symbol of quality.

Joint Commission

The Joint Commission accredits and certifies more than 15,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. The Joint Commission produces Quality Check, a comprehensive guide to health care organizations in the United States.

Leapfrog Group

The Leapfrog Group is a voluntary program that encourages transparency and easy access to healthcare information with the goal of improving healthcare safety, quality, and customer value.

U.S.News & World Report

U.S.News & World Report uses clinical and subjective analysis to rank pediatric hospitals.

Meet Debbie Freiburg

Debbie Freiburg

Debbie Freiburg is the Director for Medical Nursing and Patient and Family Education Program. She has been at Children's since 1978, joining the team as a staff nurse on the Hematology and Oncology unit.

Read More of Meet Debbie Freiburg

Children's National in Your Neighborhood

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