CHOC Clinical Leadership Council
The CHOC Clinical Leadership Council (CLC) has been working on a variety of initiatives this year. I am very pleased to share some important updates in the areas of house-based services, sleep center expansion, new equipment available at CHOC, and the formalization of the clinical program development process.
Expanded CLC Membership
I would first like to report that the Medical Directors for the house-based programs have formally been added as Members of CLC. We recently welcomed Jeff Sarmiento, MD from Anesthesiology, Aaron Sassoon, MD from Pathology, Jim Pierog, MD from Emergency Medicine, and Nathan Holmes, MD from Radiology. Additionally, CLC recently invited Bill Feaster, MD, CHOC Chief Medical Information Officer, and Mitch Katz, MD, Medical Director of Ambulatory Services to join the Committee.
House Based Programs Open at CHOC Children’s
Over the past two years, the CLC has worked closely with the house-based programs in preparation for the opening of the Bill Holmes Tower. The CHOC Operating Rooms, Emergency Department, Pathology Laboratory, and Radiology Suites successfully opened state-of-the-art services thanks to the exhaustive teamwork between administration and physician leadership. As part of the preparation efforts, each of the house based groups worked toward recruitment of additional pediatric fellowship trained providers to meet staffing requirements. As a result, CHOC recently welcomed several new pediatric trained anesthesiologists and emergency room physicians to the team. I am also pleased to announce that CHOC and Moran, Rowan, and Dorsey (MRD) have successfully recruited Azam Eghbal, MD from Akron Children’s Hospital to come to serve as our new Director of Pediatric Radiology. Dr. Eghbal will be joining the CHOC Medical Staff as of January 2014.
CHOC and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital Sleep Center Expansion
Last year, the CLC had partnered with Business Development and Operations in support expansion of the Sleep Program at CHOC. As approved by the CHOC Senior Leadership Team (SLT), CHOC added a third sleep room and upgraded the existing rooms in preparation for accreditation of the CHOC Program. Additionally, CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital (CCMH) was approved for a $1.6 million Sleep Center addition. The 19-month build-out process will result in three new state-of-the-art sleep rooms. As part of the Sleep Center service line expansion, CHOC Children’s Specialists is actively recruiting a Medical Director of Sleep Services, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Nickerson, MD. We will keep you posted on the growth and development of the newly expanded Sleep Center at CHOC and CCMH.
CHOC Portable CT Scanner
I am equally pleased to report that based on the recommendation of the CLC, CHOC has added a portable CT scanner. With the addition of this unit, critically ill children will no longer have to be transported from the critical care units or operating rooms to obtain a CT scan. The indications for the deployment of the portable CT have been provided by CHOC Radiology. The new scanner at CHOC will provide clear resolution within a minute with less radiation than traditional scanners. The ability to provide immediate results facilitates rapid intervention for children at CHOC. In addition to providing enhanced care, it also eases the anxiety level of children and parents. The portable unit is mounted on wheels and can be moved to where it is needed. The diagnostic unit is dedicated to examining children with head and neck conditions and injuries. We are very pleased to announce the addition of this equipment. We recently successfully completed our first scans in the Pediatric ICU with the new portable scanner.
CHOC Clinical Program Development Process
The CLC took an active role in the CHOC 2020 Strategic Planning process related to clinical program development. With the conclusion of the CHOC 2020 Strategic Planning Process, the CLC is implementing the formal Clinical Program Development Process, providing for ranking of new and expanded clinical programs with recommendations to be made to the CHOC Senior Leadership Team (SLT). In October, the CLC began review of proposals for new and expanded clinical services in preparation for the upcoming FY15 budget cycle.
The Clinical Program Development process begins with completion of New/Expanded Clinical Program Proposal forms, presented to Elaine Bauer, CHOC Chief Strategy Officer, and myself. With approval of these concept proposals, formal presentations are made to the CLC. A ranking tool is utilized to allow for prioritization of program asks. From there, the CLC will make recommendations to SLT, allowing for selected programs to move forward to the business plan phase. Finally, these business plans will be presented to CLC, and final recommendations will be made to SLT inclusion in the FY15 budget. We look to sharing the progress and results of our new clinical program development progress with you.
Children’s Specialty Care Coalition
As many of you are aware, I have participated in the Children’s Specialty Care Coalition (CSCC) on behalf of the pediatric providers at CHOC as a founding member since 1999. Since then, the primary goal has remained the same, but the membership, momentum, and strength of the organization has grown tremendously. I wanted to share some background, as well as some of our major successes, and also let you know about our goals for the future.
CSCC is a non-profit association dedicated to educating and advocating for access to quality healthcare for California’s children with special healthcare needs. Our very first act was to successfully lobby to keep CCS as a carve-out from the Medi-Cal program. As part of the process, we were able to secure higher CCS rates for all pediatric providers in the State, ensuring that providers would be able to continue to care for children with special needs.
We proudly look back on this extremely aggressive initial goal, knowing that our early successes garnered significant attention in Sacramento. As we look forward, our focus remains on protecting access to care for our most vulnerable children, and in view of Healthcare Reform, Affordable Care Act, we are refining new strategies.
Our first meeting of CSCC in 1999 included only 10-12 physicians. Membership has expanded today to approximately 1,000 pediatric subspecialists from throughout California, representing their children’s hospital-based physician colleagues.
I have served on the Board of Directors of the CSCC since its inception, and am currently the President of the Coalition serving a two year term. Hale Kuhlman, CHOC Vice President of Specialty Physician Services, serves on the Board with me, and has been an active and valued leader in the organization. Hale is currently the Treasurer for CSCC. CSCC meets in Sacramento on a quarterly basis to promote the mission to guarantee access to care for children with special healthcare needs.
I will keep you informed of the plans, challenges, and successes of this vital organization.
The Evolving Role of Physician Leadership
As part of the goal to enhance the effectiveness of physician leadership at CHOC, Debra Beauregard, CHOC Administrative Director to the Office of Pediatrician-in-Chief, and I set out to contact Pediatrician-in-Chief/Chairs (PIC) from children’s hospitals across the country. We interviewed PIC leaders from thirteen major children’s hospitals across the country. Throughout the process, I was impressed by the willingness of colleagues to openly share information about their respective institutions.
Our interviews provided feedback related to:
- Relationship building between physician leaders and members of hospital administration;
- Factors for maintaining successful children’s hospital and university partnerships, and the integral role played by physician leadership; and
- The evolution of physician leadership roles and necessary skill sets to ensure effectiveness in clinical and academic program growth and development
From these interviews, there evolved multiple universal factors and common themes present amongst these children’s hospitals. I shared these concepts with you in my last newsletter. I also communicated these findings with the PIC contributors. Within two to three days, I received feedback from nearly all of these physician leaders. Several have extended invitations for tours and meetings at their institutions. We also had the opportunity to host Dr. Arnold Strauss, Chair of Pediatrics from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, sharing with us his vision regarding the role of physician leadership in supporting the hospital in their pursuit of excellence.
In follow up discussions with James Fortenberry, MD, Pediatrician-in-Chief at Atlanta Children’s Hospital, we focused on the need for a PIC forum, creating a vehicle for regular communication between PIC leaders at children’s hospitals across the country. I am pleased to announce that we are finalizing a collaborative effort with the Children’s Hospital Association (CHA) (formerly Child Health Corporation of America) for the launch of a PIC Listserv scheduled for January 2014.
Thank you for all of your support. Please provide us with feedback at any time. We will continue to provide updates on the progress of the PIC and CLC initiatives.