Acad Pediatr. 2013 Nov-Dec;13(6 Suppl):S69-74. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2013.07.004.
Pediatric collaborative networks for quality improvement and research.
Despite efforts of individual clinicians, pediatric practices, and institutions to remedy continuing deficiencies in pediatric safety and health care quality, multiple gaps and disparities exist. Most pediatric diseases are rare; thus, few practices or centers care for sufficient numbers of children, particularly in subspecialties, to achieve large and representative sample sizes, and substantial between-site variation in care and outcomes persists. Pediatric collaborative improvement networks are multi-site clinical networks that allow practice-based teams to learn from one another, test changes to improve quality, and use their collective experience and data to understand, implement, and spread what works in practice. The model was initially developed in 2002 by an American Board of Pediatrics Workgroup to accelerate the translation of evidence into practice, improve care and outcomes for children, and to serve as the gold standard for the performance in practice component of Maintenance of Certification requirements. Many features of an improvement network derive from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's collaborative improvement model Breakthrough Series, including focus on a high-impact condition or topic; providing support from clinical content and quality improvement experts; using the Model for Improvement to set aims, use data for feedback, and test changes iteratively; providing infrastructure support for data collection, analysis and reporting, and quality improvement coaching; activities to enhance collaboration; and participation of multidisciplinary teams from multiple sites. In addition, they typically include a population registry of the children receiving care for the improvement topic of interest. These registries provide large and representative study samples with high-quality data that can be used to generate information and evidence, as well as to inform clinical decision making. In addition to quality improvement, networks serve as large-scale health system laboratories, providing the social, scientific, and technical infrastructure and data for multiple types of research. Statewide, regional, and national pediatric collaborative networks have demonstrated improvements in primary care practice as well as care for chronic pediatric diseases (eg, asthma, cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, congenital heart disease), perinatal care, and patient safety (eg, central line-associated blood stream infections, adverse medication events, surgical site infections); many have documented improved outcomes. Challenges to spreading the improvement network model exist, including the need for the identification of stable funding sources. However, these barriers can be overcome, allowing the benefits of improved care and outcomes to spread to additional clinical and safety topics and care processes for the nation's children.
Copyright © 2013 Academic Pediatric Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
children's health; health services research; quality improvement
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