Congenital Heart Disease Treatment: Breaking Down Barriers to Improve Care

– So being a pediatric cardiac
intensive care provider, I get the pleasure of
working with children with, you know, the most critical
forms of heart disease. And, you know, we get see a
lot of tremendous successes, and that’s one of the things
that motivated many of us to get into this field in the first place. But we also see kids who we can’t save or kids who suffer serious complications that will affect them for
the rest of their lives. And we always want to figure
ways to do our job better. Hospitals have generally been reticent to share their outcomes
data with one another due to concerns about how
those data would be used and potentially out of
concerns that another hospital or researcher might use
those data to cast them in a negative light. We feel that this is an
outdated way of looking at data sharing, and
that there’s so much more benefit to sharing these
data across hospitals and between clinicians
and that this is a tried and true method of gaining
insight on how to improve care for patients and families. PC4 is the Pediatric Cardiac
Critical Care Consortium which is a quality
improvement collaborative of hospitals from across North America that we started here at
the University of Michigan. The goal of creating PC4
was to create a network of hospitals in this collaborative that could work together to find solutions to improve the care of kids
with critical cardiovascular disease, and while we’ve
been able to uncover a lot and learn a lot about our practice and how we are doing as hospitals, we also know that this is
still a relatively small part of the patient’s full experience with cardiovascular disease. And there are other episodes
of care in the hospital, but not in the ICU. And then there’s the child’s whole life and the family’s who life
outside of the hospital. So from that motivation, we
developed an organization called Cardiac Networks United
where we brought together multiple quality
improvement collaboratives, focused on different
disease or different aspects of the care of the child with
congenital heart disease, and we have brought them together to create a full picture of a patient’s, a family’s experience, and to develop a better
understanding of how our treatments affect both
the short and longterm outcomes for these kids. And finding ways to
implement new solutions to improve their outcomes over time. I think that the history of medicine over the last sort of 20 to 25 years has demonstrated that
collaborative quality improvement between hospitals and between networks is a tried and true method
of making care better and improving outcomes, and I think we have set
up an infrastructure here through our work in building PC4 and building Cardiac Networks United where we can really accelerate the science and improve outcomes for
our patients and families in ways that were unimaginable,
even a few years ago. (gentle music)

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