CHOC Children’s 50th anniversary is on Oct. 4, 2014! In honor of this golden milestone, our beloved mascot Choco Bear has launched a 50-week gratitude tour on social media to thank the hospital for helping him after falling from a tree in 1964.
As part of his gratitude tour, he’ll be sharing inspiring stories, videos, trivia and more – as well as encouraging others to join him in expressing thanks to CHOC. You’ll also notice the 50th anniversary being incorporated in many existing events throughout the year.
Follow Choco and the 50th anniversary campaign with the hashtag #thxchoc or please visit www.choc.org/thxchoc.
Children in Corona and surrounding communities will now have access to quality pediatric specialty care much closer to home, with the opening of CHOC Children’s Health Center in Corona this December.
CHOC is dedicated to extending the reach of its pediatric experts and is committed to improving access to care. In this new, state-of-the-art facility, CHOC will be offering the following pediatric specialty care services in a convenient, family centered-care environment:
• Pediatric Surgery
(Contact our offices for the individual specialty start dates).
Patients will also have access to X-ray services on select days.
CHOC Children’s Health Center is located at 854 Magnolia Ave., Suite 101, Corona, CA, 92879. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For scheduling and authorizations, please call 1-888-770-2462.
The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders has opened in a new 21,000-square-foot facility in Orange County.
Formerly known as For OC Kids, the center’s new address is 2500 Red Hill Ave. Santa Ana, CA 92705. Its new telephone number is 949-267-0400.
Since 2001, the center has cared for children and families affected by autism and other developmental disorders. Currently providing expert medical evaluation and diagnosis, the organization is also creating a multidisciplinary team to provide a variety of treatments, education and community engagement.
The organization is a collaboration with CHOC Children’s, UC Irvine School of Medicine, Chapman University’s College of Educational Studies, William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation, and Children & Families Commission of Orange County.
Robots, 3-D printing, artificial intelligence – technology of the future is expected to make life easier.
It will also have major applications in the world of pediatric medicine.
CHOC Children’s is leading the way with the first Pediatrics 2040: Trends and Innovations for the Next 25 Years conference, held Oct. 3-5 at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim, with some of the brightest minds in health care and technology.
The highly successful conference, whose efforts were led by Anthony Chang, M.D., director of the CHOC Children’s Heart Institute and chair of Pediatrics 2040, featured more than 50 leaders from CHOC and other leading institutions. Over 300 participants, from as far away as Spain, attended the conference which focused on the following themes: genomic medicine, pediatric nanomedicine, robotics and robotic surgery, medical devices and mobile technology, regenerative medicine and stem cells, innovations in health care delivery, and artificial intelligence and big data.
“Despite the current imbroglio of financial distress, medical errors and delivery inefficiencies in health care, the next 25 years of pediatric care hold promise to be the most exciting and rewarding,” says Dr. Chang.
“AI” may stand for artificial intelligence, but “IA” stands for intelligence augmentation, according to keynote speaker Daniel Kraft, M.D. Complex knowledge systems like IBM’s Watson will be able to assist physicians in diagnosing a child’s condition, no matter how rare.
Telemedicine provides another opportunity to crowd-source patient care. Physicians can weigh in from anywhere with the use of remote devices and cameras. That means hospitals can easily enlist the help of pediatric experts, like at CHOC, to make better decisions about a child’s condition.
Researchers are taking that concept one step further with telesurgery, which will give patients access to top surgeons regardless of distance. As high-speed connections improve, surgeons will be able to use robotic tools and cloud computing to perform surgery from afar.
Robotic surgery, already in use at CHOC, is offering more dexterity to procedures in children whose small, delicate bodies require the utmost precision. Robotics continue to improve, and the addition of super senses and 3-D and 4-D ultrasound will allow for better tactile capabilities and real-time diagnoses during a procedure.
In addition to surgery, robotic technology may one day physically enhance a child’s body. Children with movement disorders or who are confined to a wheelchair may be able to wear robotic exoskeletons that help them walk and move with ease. Devices are being developed to attach to a patient’s head and interpret their thoughts, as well.
Children with congenital defects and otherwise fatal disorders will also benefit from technological advances.
Regenerative medicine is proving to be a potential breakthrough for organ transplants. In the future, new organs and customized prosthetic limbs may be created using 3-D printers. Problems like a heart defect may be repaired using tissue engineering, rather than implanting a device that will need to be replaced as a child grows.
With the completion of the human genome project a decade ago, the health care industry is poised to use genomic medicine to predict the likelihood of disease. The latest innovations will map a child’s genes and identify their risk for illness.
If a child does become sick, advances are occurring in stem cell treatments as well as nanomedicine, which could allow hospitals to create personalized medications for a patient, leading to better outcomes.
The phone’s next phase
Smartphones are not new, but their applications in health care continue to evolve.
“We’re moving to an integration of biomedicine, information technology, wireless and, I’d say, mobile now,” Dr. Kraft says.
Mobile devices can record a child’s vital signs in an instant and may even predict whether he or she will fall sick later in the day. Mobile apps are helping pediatric patients adhere to a treatment by making it easier to perform tasks and incentivizing them to do so.
Devices like glucose monitors, stethoscopes, EKGs and microscopes are also being adapted for smartphones.
An augmented reality
New wearable technology is also emerging, helping patients track heart rate, fitness, sleep patterns and weight.
Smaller, smarter microprocessors are proving to be useful in medicine, as well. A patient might swallow a small pill containing a microprocessor that can diagnose a condition without requiring scans, X-rays or exploratory surgery. That same pill can deliver the right medication to the right area of the body.
“We’re entering an era of miniaturization, decentralization and personalization,” Dr. Kraft says. “By pulling these things together, we can start to think about how to understand and leverage these, empower the patient, enable the doctor, enhance wellness and begin to cure the well before they get sick.”
Change is the name of the game in health care these days. Our CHOC associates and providers have certainly experienced their share of it with a new tower, new services and new information technology (IT) systems associated with it. The future of CHOC is bright, and the future of our IT systems’ development is bright as well.
The forces driving IT development right now are varied. The Federal “Meaningful Use” program is forcing systems to interoperate so we can share patient data needed for care across a continuum. It’s also driving us to develop more robust communications between providers, a stronger health information exchange (HIE) platform, and better communications with patients. It will also give patients more control over their health care and health care data (patient portal).
Health care payment reform is forcing us to think about caring for populations, not just patients. That pushes the development of systems to follow and manage those populations and to provide the data that providers and facilities need for this expanded scope of care. The move to ICD-10 coding is pushing us to adopt new computerized coding systems, and forward-facing systems to help clinicians improve the quality of their documentation. These natural language processing tools will require that all documentation move to an electronic format.
Cerner, our clinical IT partner, has been paying attention to usability issues, and we’ll roll out new Cerner technology to that end.. First and foremost for practitioners is the move to more narrative-based notes with a new Cerner product called Dynamic Documentation (DynDoc). Along with DynDoc will be voice recognition software as an alternative to typing, and native applications on iPads (Powerchart Touch) to make the whole system more accessible and intuitive. The changeover will begin with the new practices that we still have to bring live on documentation, with the first specialties being critical care and hospitalists late this fiscal year. We’re looking at new Cerner technology for nursing as well for pumps, communications, bar coding and workflow.
Another key issue is access to our systems. We’re moving to a “single sign-on” for Cerner Millennium applications, thus paving the way for badge or other biometric authentication, which will hopefully be financed in next year’s capital budget. Before badge access can be implemented, we have much infrastructure work to do first. We’ll see some benefits of that this year with self-service password reset and a bring-your-own device capability.
CHOC physicians and associates work in a very sophisticated IT environment. The Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) established seven levels of electronic health record adoption. We were just certified as a level-six organization (top 11 percent of all hospitals), and will likely be at level seven (top 2 percent of all hospitals) by the end of 2014. Hospitals that have achieved level seven demonstrate consistently higher quality care and lower care costs. It’s hard to demonstrate “return on investment” with IT systems, but at level seven, the ultimate payback is well documented.
So as we continue this journey, understand that there will be a few bumps in the road. We will do our best to keep you informed of the changes as they occur, but invariably, a few problems will appear that we can’t anticipate. Always feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.