The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has called for physician education as a key step in providing the safest and highest quality medical care, and recommended the maintenance of proficiency in fundamental core areas. The inability to attain proficiency in those key areas directly impacts the cost, safety and quality of care of the 6.4 million children hospitalized in the US every year. The field of pediatric hospital medicine (PHM) emerged and grew rapidly in response to these challenges. However, most pediatric hospitalists have had no formal post-residency training, with no official mechanism for instruction and board certification. It is crucial that hospitalists, particularly those isolated within community medical centers in underprivileged neighborhoods, maintain proficiency in areas that can impact patient care quality and safety. Our long term goal is to achieve safer and higher quality patient-centered care for all hospitalized children in the region, by addressing the lack of hospital medicine training opportunities and inter-institutional communication in the largest urbanized region in the US. Our specific objective is to offer strategic educational activities within a regional interdisciplinary platform for continuing education and rapid dissemination of evidence-based knowledge. We hypothesize that a better prepared hospitalist workforce can promote changes to the current healthcare system that lead to safer and higher quality care for all hospitalized children, decrease health disparities, and improve public health. We will build upon two innovative approaches: 1) the NY Regional PHM Forum, a collaborative network of 160 pediatric hospitalists from thirty institutions in the tri-state metropolitan area;2) our prior experience organizing two highly successful regional PHM conferences. In alignment with IOM's recommendations, the current conference proposal will accomplish four Specific Aims:
Aim 1. To rapidly disseminate best practices and healthcare innovations that have proven successful in improving outcomes and reducing medical errors in hospitalized children.
Aim 2. To supplement and enhance the training of junior pediatric hospitalists and allied health professionals by providing educational sessions in the five IOM core proficiency areas: delivering patient-centered care;working as part of interdisciplinary teams;practicing evidence-based medicine;focusing on safety and quality improvement;and using information technology.
Aim 3. To offer a regional platform for direct interaction, teamwork, knowledge dissemination, quality improvement, research, and professional growth.
Aim 4. To disseminate all conference materials at the national level, by creating a user friendly website and catalog system with self-training modules. The proposed conference is innovative because it addresses an emergent issue, capitalizes on prior regional accomplishments, and overcomes traditional barriers among institutions in a large metropolitan area. It provides a novel model to rapidly disseminate best practices to key front-line stakeholders, with prompt national diffusion. Ultimately, these efforts can improve safety and quality care for hospitalized children at the regional level, and potentially at the national level.
This conference will address an emergent issue and will provide key proficiencies to healthcare professionals caring for hospitalized children in the largest urban region in the US. Our goal is to rapidly disseminate best practices to front-line physicians to improve patient safety and quality care for hospitalized children in the region, with anticipated national dissemination and impact.