In 2004, the Department of Pediatrics at CHOP began a program called the Chair's Initiatives. The goal: to establish new models of care in pediatrics and tackle some of the most daunting challenges in healthcare today.
The Chair’s Initiatives program provides internal grants that support projects throughout Children’s Hospital. Begun by Alan R. Cohen, MD, Physician in Chief, and Chair, Department of Pediatrics, and Alison Marx, Operating Officer, Department of Pediatrics, the program develops new projects and nourishes existing efforts, providing funding for staff and support from quality specialists, administrators, information technology and other internal and external resources.
It takes a team
Participants in the Chair’s Initiatives have included physicians, nurses, computer programmers, researchers, engineers, nurse practitioners and others within many specialties, including cardiology, emergency medicine, gastroenterology, hematology, oncology and surgery. These individuals provide an unflagging willingness to work diligently and collaboratively to move their initiatives forward and to find solutions to complex challenges.
The program represents an excellent opportunity for donors interested in helping incredibly bright, motivated teams quickly bring change that truly benefits patients and families. For more information about how you can make a gift, call The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation at 267-426-5332 or visit GiftofChildhood.org.
Chair’s Initiatives projects
Since its inception, the Chair’s Initiatives program has helped 27 teams turn great ideas into reality. Reflecting the Hospital’s commitment to patient safety, we have chosen projects focused on innovation, safety and quality of care.
Ten projects were funded 2006-2008, six in 2008-2010, six in 2011-2013, and five are currently underway.
Round 4 (2013-2015) projects
The following five projects are currently underway:
- COMEDO: A Mobile Computerized System to Assess Acne Patients and Develop Treatment Recommendations Adapted From Standardized, Expert Treatment Guidelines. Acne is one of the most common reasons for a visit to the doctor in ages 13-21. This team will refine a computer program that can recommend treatment through analysis of the patient’s skin through photos taken from a smartphone and other data. The goal is to pilot the tool at primary care practices.
- Enhancing Providers’ Ability to Respond Effectively to Peer Bullying and Victimization. This team will survey patients, parents and providers about the effects of bullying, and then design tools, such as sets of recommendations in Epic, to help providers identify bullying and respond in ways that will help.
- Identification, Remediation and Prevention of Chronic Glucocorticoid Therapy Effects. More than 1,500 CHOP patients are on long-term glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy to prevent organ damage and other effects of immune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus. This team will work on standards to identify, monitor, remediate and prevent side effects such as weight gain and high blood pressure.
- Thrombosis Prevention and Treatment in Cardiac Patients. Children with heart disease account for a high proportion of CHOP’s acquired venous thromboembolisms (blood clots). This team will develop strategies to reduce the incidence and complications of thrombosis in cardiac patients.
- Proof of Concept of an Infrastructure for Text Messaging Interventions at CHOP: Development and Evaluation of THRIVE (Texting, Health Resources to Inform, MotiVate and Engage). This team will study the effectiveness of texting in improving care, adherence, and well-being of adolescents and young adults (ages 12 to 25) completing cancer treatment. One group will receive daily text messages for 16 weeks, including education, encouragement and appointment reminders; the control group will not. The project also aims to evaluate whether texting software and interventions can be applied to care of and research with other diagnoses.
Round 3 (2011–2013) projects
Six projects were funded from 2011–2013:
- A Shared Decision-making Portal for Pediatric Chronic Illness: For conditions such as asthma, communication between families and clinicians about goals, concerns, and the child’s condition and progress is key. This team is creating a computer portal where both sides can share information, track progress and make decisions about care.
- Assuring Quality and Safety at CHOP Community Pediatric Programs: The CHOP Care Network includes affiliations with numerous local hospitals. This team is designing and implementing a quality monitoring system to ensure that all CHOP-affiliated sites offer the same quality of care.
- Improving Hospital Care for and Service Delivery to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Children with autism have different reactions to care and require different approaches. This team is piloting strategies for promoting patient comfort and minimizing safety concerns during routine procedures such as sedation before a CT scan.
- Minds Matter: Improving Pediatric Concussion Management: Early recognition of concussion signs and symptoms and early implementation of cognitive and physical rest are key to management of acute concussion. This team is analyzing current practice across the institution and recommending improvements in primary care, emergency care, sports medicine, trauma and other areas.
- Reducing the Incidence of Outpatient CLABSI (Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infections): Long-term IV lines called central lines, used to give patients medication and nutrients, bring increased risk of dangerous bloodstream infections. This team is working to translate safety improvements CHOP has made on the inpatient side into the outpatient realm.
- Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Services: A Primary Care Based Model: Good primary care doctors are important to young adults with complicated healthcare needs, but many don’t make it a priority to find one after they outgrow their pediatrician. This team is designing tools to help patients find and maintain primary care providers.
Round 2 (2008–2010) projects
Six projects were funded from 2008–2010:
- Anticoagulant Management Program: Improving monitoring and care for children taking “blood thinners”
- Chemotherapy Tracking Project: Computerizing records of cancer patients’ drug regimens
- CHOPLink Implementation, Quality and Patient Safety: Linking clinicians with computer specialists to ensure technology improves care
- Collaborative Clinical Pathways: Establishing a framework for care guidelines to be created more easily
- Intestinal Rehabilitation Program: Coordinating and improving care for children with intestinal failure
- Unit-based Patient Safety Walk-rounds: Providing a forum for safety concerns of families and staff
Round 1 (2006–2008) projects
Ten projects were funded from 2006–2008:
- Access Nurse Advisor and Care Coordination: Nursing roles, systems and tools were created to support patients, families and providers in coordinating both access and care.
- ADHD in Primary Care: A team created computer tools, conferences and other supports to help primary care pediatricians learn and manage patients with ADHD.
- Automated Appointment Reminders: A computerized system was implemented to place standardized reminder calls across specialties to help families remember appointments and support continuity of care.
- Center for Bone Health: A team provides specialized care for children with poor bone health and helped establish international care guidelines.
- Center for Pediatric Eosinophilic Disorders: A team provides specialized care for rare allergic disorders, attracting patients from across the United States and becoming a model for other hospitals.
- Database Development: A team developed databases and Web-based applications to support physicians in research and care.
- Multidisciplinary Cancer Survivorship Program: A team created a monthly clinic where cancer survivors see oncologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists and other specialists, resulting in better care coordination for their many needs.
- Office of Fellowship Programs: A team coordinates and streamlines application, evaluation, curriculum development and accreditation processes for all fellowship programs in the Department of Pediatrics.
- Pediatric Knowledgebase: A team created a Web-based application that combined data about drugs with data about individual patients to help improve outcomes.
- Sudden Cardiac Death Prevention: A cardiologist and staff provide screenings for undiagnosed heart irregularities in children and teens, and training in CPR and automated external defibrillator use for schools.
Learn more about the Chair's Initiatives projects
Date: July 2014