Quality and Safety Initiatives

MassGeneral Hospital for Children (MGHfC) is engaged in a variety of local and national quality improvement (QI) projects, impacting children's health care locally and nationally.

Speak UP!: We encourage patients to be active participants in their health care. The Speak Up program at MGHfC regularly reviews Speak Up comment forms which are submitted by patients and their families. Pediatric patients and their families are encouraged to tell us about their family’s care experience. We make a conscious effort to make improvements based on this feedback. Patients and families can file their own safety report on our inpatient units, or at www.massgeneralforchildren.org/speakup.

MGHfC Mini-Grants: The Quality and Safety Program is supporting the third year of its Mini Grant program.

  • 2010-2011: During the first year, approximately $8,000 in mini-grant funding was awarded to support multidisciplinary process improvement efforts across MGHfC. Six projects were selected, with topics including discharge checklists, communication training for residents, improvement of patient experience survey results, admission plans for high-risk patients and transitions in care (pediatric to adult).
  • 2011-2012: During the second year, an additional $8,000 was allotted to support four projects, which focused on care improvement in the NICU, a handoff checklist for post-operative patients and an interdisciplinary approach to antibiotics administration between the PICU and Emergency Department.
  • 2013: During the third year of the program, approximately $6,000 has been awarded to support four projects focused on the enhancement of patient experience, resident pain management education and the improvement of rounding procedures.

MGHfC Procedural Areas Clinical Standards: MGHfC has completed a two-year project to identify opportunities for improvement and standardization across areas that provide anesthesia and procedural sedation to pediatric patients. An MGHfC Procedural Areas Collaborative Practice Group has been formed to sustain the project results and address ongoing opportunities for improvement.

Pediatric Radiation Safety: New technologies have allowed physicians to order tests that are integral to diagnosing certain medical problems. However, MGHfC recognizes the importance of administering these tests in a way that is safe for children. MGHfC uses low dose, pediatric-specific radiation protocols for CT scans in children and we closely monitor radiation exposure.

Prevention of Antibiotic Resistence: Antibiotics are often used to treat bacterial infections. While there are clear indications to use antibiotics, their overuse can lead to the development of resistant bacteria. MGHfC monitors use of antibiotics such as Vancomycin to help minimize development of antibiotic resistance.

Improve Care Now: This alliance of healthcare professionals and patients is dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare provided to children and adolescents with Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improving the health of these young patients.

Pediatric Hospital Medicine Value in Pediatrics Network: The Value in Pediatrics Network works to improve the quality and value of healthcare delivered to hospitalized children and their family members by supporting process improvement projects among member institutions and individuals in order to generate measurably better health outcomes. MGHfC participates in the bronchiolitis collaborative and the discharge handoff collaborative.

Vermont Oxford Network (VON): As an active member of VON, MGHfC can measure clinical outcomes for babies who are treated in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Additionally, we are able to compare medical outcomes at similar hospitals throughout the country. This external comparison allows us to identify NICU strengths and address weaknesses if they are found.

Virtual Performance Systems (VPS): The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at MGHfC provides treatment for children who are critically ill or need a higher level of medical attention. In order to understand the quality of care that is provided in the PICU, we are participating in VPS, a national benchmarking system. This system allows us to measure quality of care and medical outcomes and to compare our performance to similar PICUs across the country.

University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC): MGHfC belongs to a national database that allows us to measure important clinical outcomes and compare our rates to similar hospitals across the country. We are currently focusing on a variety of measures, including Mortality, Average Length of Stay, Thirty-Day Readmission Rates and Meconium Aspiration Syndrome. Membership in UHC allows us to understand how our outcomes compare to a national standard.

View additional quality and safety projects at Massachusetts General Hospital.