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Ohio's Children's Hospitals Release New Results of Collaboration Aimed at Saving Children's Lives
Date:6/4/2009

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ohio Children's Hospital Association (OCHA) and its six member hospitals - Akron Children's Hospital; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Dayton Children's Medical Center; Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus; Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital, Cleveland; and Toledo Children's Hospital - today released new results of a first-of-its-kind collaboration to improve quality in children's hospitals.

OCHA and its six member hospitals created the Ohio Children's Hospital Association's Quality Improvement Collaborative (the Collaborative) in 2006. In its first initiative, the Collaborative focused on reducing preventable codes, or cardiac and pulmonary arrests, occurring outside of the neonatal and pediatric Intensive Care Units. As a result of its efforts, the Collaborative identified a medical protocol called a Rapid Response Team that to date, when implemented, has reduced incidences of preventable codes by more than 46 percent.

"While all six member hospitals have long been leaders in quality innovation individually, this is the first time nationally that a statewide group of children's hospitals has come together in a collaborative manner to improve quality in a measurable, meaningful way," said Bill Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children's Hospital and OCHA chairman. "We are thrilled by the solid, tangible results to date and look forward to identifying new areas where we can improve quality efforts."

For the Collaborative, each participating hospital adapted a Rapid Response Team model to fit within its own patient care environment and culture. Bedside caregivers at participating hospitals were empowered to quickly harness the expertise of this multidisciplinary Rapid Response Team when the caregiver determined that immediate intervention was warranted. Further, some hospitals created a process that enabled patient families to call upon the Rapid Response Team when they felt their child was in need of assessment.

"I am proud that Ohio's children's hospitals are taking this courageous step to join forces to improve quality," said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. "I believe this Collaborative can be an important factor in improving the quality of care in our state while also helping to curb the rising cost of health care."

"Ohio is blessed to have some of the country's finest children's hospitals in geographically diverse sections of our great state," Ohio Senate President Bill Harris (R-Ashland) said. "The Ohio Children's Hospital Association Quality Improvement Collaborative is a shining example of how working together can make a difference and save children's lives while identifying best practices that will reduce unnecessary illness and injury."

"Health care affects each of us - whether we are a patient or whether we have a loved one who is a patient," said Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish (D-Beachwood). "Ohio is fortunate to have one of the best networks of children's hospitals in the country who are demonstrating their commitment to providing quality care each and every day through continued quality improvement efforts. I look forward to continuing our work together to protect the health and well-being of Ohio's three million children."

Initiatives like OCHA's Quality Improvement Collaborative, which directly benefit Ohio's children by identifying new best practices and protocols, are paid for entirely through funding by OCHA and its members.

"It's never easy to shine a light on areas where improvements can be made, but we do it because it's the right thing to do to save children's lives and in the long run saves our hospitals money, enhances our efficiency and expenditure of scarce health care resources," said Considine.

"Because Ohio's children's hospitals are so reliant on Medicaid funding (nearly 50 percent of patients at children's hospitals rely on Medicaid compared to just 12 percent for general hospitals), initiatives like the Collaborative help to make more efficient use of the state's tax dollars. And, without stable Medicaid funding, these types of programs would not be possible. " Considine said more than 1.2 million Ohio children - or one in three Ohio children - rely on Medicaid for health care coverage.

OCHA is the voice of Ohio's youngest patients, their families and health care providers. Ohio's six member hospitals are dedicated to saving, protecting and enhancing children's lives. They ensure that all three million Ohio children receive the care they need, and treat children from all 88 counties in Ohio, regardless of ability to pay.


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SOURCE Ohio Children's Hospital Association
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