“I walked away … energized and ready to help change the world, which is a pretty great feeling,” says Jennifer Daru, MD, FAAP, FHM, chief of the division of pediatric hospital medicine at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and co-leader of the roundtable’s clinical practice/workforce workgroup.
One of Dr. Daru’s workgroup’s strategic initiative projects should make Dr. Hale and his pediatric hospitalists at Central Maine Medical Center happy. Dr. Daru’s group is creating a clinical practice dashboard template that PHM programs can use to internally track patient care and compare themselves with other programs and national standards.
“I think very few programs have a dashboard, because it’s a relatively newer thing for pediatric hospital medicine,” Dr. Daru says. “With this dashboard, we want to be able to say, ‘Here are the things you should look at to ensure quality care for your kids, and as you look at them, you should probably track them over time.’ ”
Steve Narang, MD, medical director of quality/safety and pediatric emergency services at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, La., is leading the quality and safety workgroup, which is focused on patient identification, patient handoffs between pediatric hospitalists and PCPs, and clinical outcomes for common pediatric diagnoses.
“Most doctors don’t like standardized forms or cookbook medicine, but they do understand good care. Hopefully, we will show success in these initiatives and they will serve as a launching pad to other initiatives,” Dr. Narang says.
Dr. Hale, for one, is excited by the initiatives and workgroups, and optimistic the strategic projects will help his program. In recent years, the PHM community has talked about these kinds of advances, and he’s encouraged to see them moving forward. “These initiatives contribute to the strength of our field,” says Dr. Hale, who also serves on the executive board of AAP’s Maine chapter.
About 80 pediatric hospitalists have volunteered to help with the strategic initiatives. Earlier this year, a request for help was broadcast over the Section on Hospital Medicine listserv run by the AAP. It was announced at HM09 in Chicago and the PHM conference in Tampa. Everyone who submitted a resume or CV, references, and a statement of interest is included, Dr. Percelay says. “This is not supposed to be some exclusive club that no one can get into,” he says. “We are committed to a transparent process.”
While the application deadline has passed, organizers expect additional calls for volunteers in the future as strategic projects move forward, projects are added, and current volunteers depart (see “How to Get Involved,” above).
“They will be the next volunteer go-tos. We will essentially build them into new projects that come up or if gaps emerge,” Dr. Daru says. “We want to have as many people as possible who are really motivated.”
You don’t necessarily have to volunteer for workgroups to be a part of the broader effort. You can read and comment on draft reports released by some of the project teams, or review the roundtable’s executive summary and find ways to apply the vision and goals to your own PHM program, says Mark Shen, MD, medical director of hospital medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas, and pediatric editor of The Hospitalist.