Pediatric Research in Inpatient Settings (PRIS) leads the way with a Forbes-like listing of million-dollar grants and a partnership with Child Health Corporation of America’s (CHCA) uber-powerful Pediatric Health Information Systems (PHIS) database. Expect some landmark studies in the near future.
In the meantime, it is clear that the rest of the field is not languishing from smaller budgets. From clear outcome and process measurements of family-centered rounds to studying the spectrum of transitions of care to the impact of early warning systems, there was a predominant focus on quality and safety.
In fact, the tone was set at the opening keynote address, as Carolyn Clancy, MD, director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), described creative and innovative ways to study and translate work in this area to improved patient care.
6. We are poised to develop effective training systems for our future workforce. From the use of our core competencies in sessions to a full complement of workshops on education (from individual to team and from student to fellow), it is clear that thoughtful deliberation has paved the way for our future. We possess expertise in education that dovetails nicely with our need to grow and sustain an experienced, well-trained workforce.
Intrinsically, we know that we possess a unique body of skills, knowledge, and attitudes. The explicit articulation of this into longitudinal curricula will headline our evolution as a field.
5. Our new peer-reviewed journal has a bright future. Kudos to Shawn Ralston and the rest of the editorial board for publishing the first peer-reviewed edition of Hospital Pediatrics. Original research, evidence-based content, and practical commentary grace the pages with a little bit of something for everyone. The AAP has demonstrated a healthy level of support for this endeavor, as they sent out an introductory email announcing the journal to all of their membership over the weekend. I am confident that support from our pediatric hospitalist community will follow in the form of an exponential increase in quality submissions. Look no further than the PHM 2011 abstract book to get a preview of what our journal will highlight in the near future.
4. We connect with each other through a language of quality and value in our work. Quality spanned the continuum from conversation to collaboration, as like-minded souls shared ideas and passions amidst the sessions. The improved outcomes demonstrated by the Value in Inpatient Pediatrics (VIP) network are a testament to the positive change that can arise from such efforts. VIP, with its focus on inclusive and front-line collaboratives, also announced an upcoming merger with the AAP’s Quality Improvement and Innovation Network (QuIIN), approved by the AAP board in May.
Perhaps more impressive was that more than 12% of the attendees at PHM 2011 attended the annual VIP dinner and similar numbers signed up to participate in future efforts. At this pace, widespread improvement and value are easily within our sights.
3. Complex care is the new family-centered rounds. Atul Gawande’s recent New Yorker article about “Hot Spotters” could very well have been referring to the body of work that is represented by pediatric generalists (to include a fair number of hospitalists) over the past few years. Closing plenary speakers Robert Lyle and Patrick Casey wowed the audience as they described their medical home for medically complex children—and an estimated savings to Arkansas Medicaid of nearly $3 million per year.
As hospitals and hospital systems look to create accountable care organizations (ACOs), this kind of work will be increasingly prioritized, as it has the potential to generate the biggest gains in valued care.