All posts by CHOC Children's

CHOC South Tower Scheduled to Open April 2013

Featuring leading-edge advancements in patient safety and health information technology, the new tower will make CHOC one of the safest hospitals in the nation.

A new era of pediatric care in Orange County is underway with CHOC Children’s seven-story tower scheduled to open in April 2013. The state-of-the-art tower will feature patient care services provided within a completely pediatric-focused environment, including Orange County’s only pediatric emergency department, operating rooms, two cardiac catheterization labs, radiology, laboratory and pathology services.

Activation plans are making remarkable progress, including IT integration, staff on-boarding and training, licensing preparation, and implementation of new services and equipment.


Please take note of the following key milestones:

  • CDPH Licensure – January 22-24, 2013
  • Second Floor Family Services Open – February 4, 2013
  • Lab Opens – February 5, 2013
  • Level II NICU at St. Joseph Hospital Opens – February 11, 2013
  • Hem/Onc Opens – February 12, 2013
  • Imaging Opens – February 19, 2013
  • Minor Procedures Open – March 4, 2013
  • Outpatient Surgery Opens – March 6, 2013
  • Inpatient Surgery Opens – March 11, 2013
  • Heart Institute Opens – March 18, 2013
  • Cath Lab Opens – March 21, 2013
  • Emergency Department Opens – March 26, 2013
  • Tower Fully Operational – April 2013

Please note, some of these dates can change.

In addition, the hospital is now utilizing a new address: 1201 W. La Veta Ave. And, in an effort to simplify the phone numbers on campus, all CHOC phone number and fax prefixes (excluding CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital and CHOC Children’s Specialty Center at Hoag Health Center-Newport Beach) have been replaced with 509. This will not affect the main phone number – 714-997-3000. Please share this information with your staff.

CHOC is committed to continue keeping you and your patients informed in the coming months.

For more information on this exciting expansion, please visit

An Exciting New Year – A Note From Dr. Feaster, CHOC Children’s Chief Medical Information Officer

In addition to wishing all a very happy and productive new year, I wanted to review some of the upcoming IT changes associated with the phased opening of the South Tower during February and March.  The following dates are tracking pretty well although there is always the variable of state licensure that may change some of the planed dates.

The infrastructure for the new tower is now in place to support all of our IT systems.  Our first new Cerner “Net,” PathNet,” goes live with the lab on February 5th.  As of that date, all orders for labs will be routed through our own laboratory.  This “cutover” to the new system will, unfortunately, require some down time of CUBS, as all existing orders have to be re-entered with new orders being directed to PathNet and not St. Joseph Hospital.  Stay tuned for more information on the timing of this downtime.  There will be some changes to the order sentences for labs (especially micro where new questions will be asked) and possibly some need to rebuild favorites because of the changes, but no training will be required.  We will be distributing “cheat sheets” to outline the changes before the go live.

The radiology go-live with RadNet and Synapse (PACS) is scheduled for February 19th.  A similar downtime will be required prior to this go-live.  The main changes to order sentences are already in place in our production environment.  Paper-based contrast orders for radiology procedures will be replaced by contrast orders entered by pharmacy based on protocols.  Administration of contrast will be documented in the MAR.  In addition to radiology go-live, SurgiNet will also go-live to support anesthesia and our out-of-OR nursing documentation.  The main changes for our physician staff outside of anesthesia and radiology will be in how images are viewed in PACS.  We will be utilizing the same vendor program as currently utilized at St. Joseph Hospital.  We’ll update you on new functionality and how to access PACS in a follow-up communication, as well as where to look for anesthesia documentation.

The OR begins its opening on March 4th (the procedure unit will already be open). The phasing in of our 7 new ORs occurs by service over a period of three weeks, with open- heart surgery moving last on the 18th and the cath labs opening on the 21st.  SurgiNet will already be live and no real IT impact outside of the surgical areas will be felt at this time.

The final major IT go-live will be our ED on February 26th.  FirstNet, which is integral to departmental operations, and CPOE and PowerNotes go live at this time.  As with SurgiNet, the main impact is on department-specific staff including our ED docs.  ED orders and documentation will now be found in Powerchart.  There are many complexities of this activation as it relates to a satellite pharmacy, admissions, locating patients in the ED when consulting, etc., that you will hear more about as the date gets closer.

The next couple of months will be filled with a flurry of activities related to the South Tower opening.  In addition, we have non-Tower IT go-lives such as the ambulatory EHR in primary care and e-prescribing.  It’s a very busy time for us all, but an exciting one.

Best Regards,
Bill Feaster

CHOC Children’s Patient Care Tower Celebration

Join us on Saturday, February 2, 2013 as we celebrate the new CHOC Children’s patient care tower!
This remarkable event commemorating the new CHOC Children’s, will include  music, entertainment, fun family activities, tours, special guests and refreshments.

The festivities will be held as follows:
Dedication Ceremony – 12:00pm – 12:30pm
Community Festival and Celebration – 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Space is limited, so reserve your place by January 25th at

One-Of-A-Kind Experience Comes to CHOC – Jan. 21st – 31st

“Something tells me that there is a really big change in the air. Do you feel it too?” – Dottie

In partnership with the entertainment experts at the Disneyland Resort, CHOC Children’s is pleased to present the CHOC Showcase to all Associates, Medical Staff and Volunteers.  This one-hour, live-action event highlights the innovative features of the new CHOC Children’s – our culture and our South Tower.  Running at various times January 21 through January 31, 2013, the Showcase is located in Suite 150 of the CHOC Commerce Tower.

Given your valuable role at CHOC, we hope you will attend one of the performances. Featuring entertaining videos and professional actors, the Showcase is unlike anything ever hosted at CHOC.  As we enter the most dynamic era in our history, you won’t want to miss out on this exciting opportunity to learn why CHOC Children’s future is brighter than ever!

Please note: Campus physicians please park in your usual parking location. Community physicians may park in the CHOC Commerce Tower parking lot located at 505 S. Main St.  Validation will be provided at the end of the Showcase.

For more information, show schedule, and to reserve your spot at this exclusive event, please visit

Should you have any questions, please email

Why Do Research in Children? (Clinical Trial Guidelines)

One or more medications are prescribed at nearly half of all children’s doctor visits in this country yet upwards of 30% of these medicines have not undergone the rigors of clinical testing in children.

Even though pediatricians agree that children and adolescent are not just “mini adults”, the off-label use of adult-approved drugs, adjusted for weight, is common in the treatment in these populations. While this may sound like “guesswork,” it’s really more of a ‘hand-me-down’ approach and often the only real choice available to physicians when treating childhood conditions that also affect adults.

Without controlled clinical research in children, a child becomes an experiment of one each time a drug or device is prescribed off-label – only unlike a controlled scientific “experiment”, no statistically tested data are collected that might inform the larger medical community.

To address the gap in knowledge about the specific action of FDA approved drugs for adults prescribed off-label for the treatment of children, pediatricians, the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, and other federal entities are encouraging FDA approved drug and device studies in children.

With easy access to on-line information, parents are likely to hear about clinical trials and want to know more. The Q&As below are intended to aid clinicians in discussing clinical trial options with patients and parents:

Why is clinical research in children and adolescents necessary?

Clinical research in children and adolescents allows physicians to better treat these populations by:

• Finding the best dose of medicines to prevent harmful effects or under-treatment.

• Making chewables, liquids or tablets that are easier for children to take, yet still safe.

• Finding treatments for problems that occur only in children, like prematurity.

• Finding treatments for diseases or conditions that occur in children, adolescents and adults but which can act differently in each sub-population, like arthritis or heart disease.

• Finding treatments for new or existing diseases to improve the health of children in the future, like vaccine studies that were done years ago help children stay healthier today.

• Understanding how medicines affect children and adolescent brains and bodies as they grow and develop.

Can you point to some of the successes with children from clinical trials research in the past?

Yes, here are several important examples:

• Clinical trials showed that surfactant—a substance that keeps air sacs in the lungs inflated—helps premature infants breathe. As a result, the lives of thousands of babies who would otherwise die of respiratory failure are saved each year.

• As a result of repeated clinical trials in children with cancer, most children who develop leukemia survive. Only 50 years ago, acute leukemia was almost universally fatal in young children.

• Prior to the development of the polio vaccine, 15,000 American children developed paralytic polio each year. In the last five years, there have been no cases of paralytic polio in the United States. This advance was only possible through clinical trials in children.

Will my child benefit from participating in a clinical trial?

In general terms, there are some data to suggest that people who participate in clinical research have better outcomes compared to similar patients with the same disease.The reason why research participants tend to fare better is unclear. Improved outcomes may relate to the close observation often demanded by clinical trials, or closer follow-up after care that is often dictated by the research. Children may benefit from participating in clinical research of new medicines because these medicines are usually tested and proven to be safe and effective in adults before they are studied in clinical trials in children.

These short-term benefits are small in comparison to the benefits that will certainly be recognized by future children.

Who is watching out for my child in a study?

The answer is – lots of people. Many qualified professionals review a study in detail before a single person is enrolled. These people include:

•  the scientists who focus on identifying the right treatment,

•  the statisticians who help to design the right study with the right number of participants to get good results,

•  the medical investigators (nurses, doctors, pharmacists, psychologists, and technicians) who will make sure that the study is done in the right way with the right participants, and

•  Institutional Review Boards (IRB) are independent committees that review research plans and consent forms to make sure that people in a study are informed and protected. They review studies both before they start and throughout the study.

What Is “Informed Consent”?

Before you decide whether or not your child should participate in a clinical trial, you should learn the key facts about it. To help you decide, the investigators involved in the study explain its details. If you agree to participate, you give your informed consent. Informed consent is not a contract. You may withdraw from the trial at any time and for any reason.

If I find a clinical trial on-line, how do I discuss it with my doctor?

• Write down a list of questions at home and take it with you when you meet with your doctor. Make sure you get all of your questions answered.

• Take notes during the discussion. Read the notes back to the doctor to make sure you have heard everything correctly.

• Ask what information is already known about the medical product that your child may be given. Studies may be in progress elsewhere and some data may be available.

• Ask for contact information if you would like to talk to other parents whose child is participating in the study. The study team can provide this information if they get permission from other parents to have you contact them.

• After being presented with information and an informed consent document, you do not have to sign it right away. Go home and think about it, talk it over with your family, your child’s pediatrician, and other trusted people.

How do I find out more about clinical trials?

More information about having your child participate in a clinical trial is available at government Web sites, such as:





CHOC Children’s currently has 378 open studies across multiple diseases.

For more information, please contact the CHOC Children’s Research Institute at (714) 590-4341 or visit our Web site at