U.S. News Includes CHOC Among Nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals in 2017-18 Survey

CHOC Children’s has been named one of the nation’s best children’s hospitals by U.S. News & World Report in its 2017-18 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings.

CHOC ranked in seven specialties: cancer, diabetes/endocrinology, neonatology, neurology/neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology, which earned a top 20 spot on the coveted list.

According to U.S. News, the Best Children’s Hospitals rankings were introduced in 2007 to help families of children with rare or life-threatening illnesses find the best medical care available.

The 11th annual rankings recognize the top 50 pediatric facilities across the United States in 10 pediatric specialties, from cancer to urology.

“The pediatric centers we rank in Best Children’s Hospitals deliver exceptionally high-quality care and deserve to be recognized for their commitment,” U.S. News Health Rankings Editor Avery Comarow said. “Children with life-threatening illnesses or rare conditions need the state-of-the-art services and expertise these hospitals provide every day.”

The U.S. News Best Children’s Hospitals rankings rely on clinical data and on an annual survey of pediatric specialists. The rankings methodology considers clinical outcomes, such as mortality and infection rates, efficiency and coordination of care delivery and compliance with “best practices.”

“At CHOC Children’s, we are steadfastly committed to delivering high-quality, safe and reliable health care to our patients,” said Dr. James Cappon, CHOC’s chief quality officer. “Recognition from U.S. News of our excellence in these seven subspecialties validates our efforts, but also provides our patients and families with even more assurance of our commitment to excelling in all areas of care.”

Survival rates, adequacy of nurse staffing, procedure and patient volume, availability of programs for particular illnesses and conditions and more can be viewed at http://health.usnews.com/best-hospitals/pediatric-rankings.

John Henderson Joins CHOC as Vice President and Chief Information Officer

CHOC Children’s new vice president and chief information officer, John Henderson, brings decades of information technology (IT) experience in the healthcare setting to his role.  Most recently, John served as an assistant vice president at Texas Children’s Hospital, where he was responsible for IT operations, including business and clinical application delivery, business intelligence and analytics, and infrastructure technology.  We recently asked him to share a few details of CHOC’s upcoming investments in technology.  Here’s what he had to say.

What support will be provided to our population health efforts?

We will continue to expand our population health and pediatric system of care capabilities with new registries, real time information and analytic technologies to improve care coordination, management of patient population, and as well as improve the patient experience.

Will CHOC be investing in telemedicine technology?

We are undergoing a strategic review of telemedicine to position CHOC for broader reach, helping improve across the continuum of care and enhance the patient experience.

What are a few other IT projects you think our physicians should know about?

We are continuing with the roll out of Cerner’s PowerChart Touch for the iPad to bring more mobility and efficiency to our physician community.  We will also place a heavy emphasis on expanding our Enterprise Data Warehouse platform to increase access to clinical, administrative and operational information via web-based dashboards, key performance indicators and scorecards.  I am particularly interested in communications platforms for clinicians and shared services departments that improve efficiencies and eliminate the number of devices, so we will be exploring solutions in support of this.  We are also looking to enable a content and collaboration platform that allows for secure document sharing using Microsoft’s OneDrive and leverages Skype for Business, including instant messaging and web conferencing.

Help Me Grow Orange County Wins National Innovation Challenge

Help Me Grow Orange County, which became operational at CHOC Children’s in 2007 to help ensure the community’s children and families are connected to developmental services, was named the winner of the 10K Innovation Challenge. The Help Me Grow National Center and Connecticut Children’s Advancing Kids Innovation Program (AKIP) invited the nation’s 28 Help Me Grow affiliates to submit innovative ideas, models or approaches that promote children’s healthy development and can be replicated by other affiliates.

Four finalists were selected among all submissions to receive technical assistance from AKIP in defining and describing their innovation to a panel of experts at the 8th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum, held in St., Paul, Minnesota.  After an audience vote, Help Me Grow Orange County was declared the winner, receiving $10,000 from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to support the continued growth— and expansion to other affiliates— of their innovation.

Help Me Grow Orange County was honored for effectively using collaboration, linked technology and the Help Me Grow infrastructure to improve developmental screening rates for children in family child care settings.   Currently, young children cared for in such settings do not experience developmental screening rates equivalent to children in center-based settings.  As a result, they are typically not getting identified and connected to services that can help them overcome certain challenges they may be facing for healthy growth and development.

To address this gap, Help Me Grow Orange County created a link to developmental screening questionnaires available to childcare providers.  The questionnaires are automatically scored using an online system, and results are imported into a database used for intake, referrals and care coordination.  Screening results are shared with families, early care and education providers, and pediatric health care providers.  Children who are determined to be in the at-risk or monitoring categories receive referrals and follow-up care coordination from the Help Me Grow staff.

“We are elated to have won the 10K Innovation Challenge,” says Rebecca Hernandez, manager, Help Me Grow Orange County. “Our participation allowed us to highlight our innovative and collaborative efforts with Quality Start OC’s Quality Rating & Improvement System.  Utilizing integrated technology, we created a more accessible and efficient process to conduct developmental screening for young children in family child care.  We are certain these children are connected to services because they are easily linked now to Help Me Grow.  We hope we inspired our colleagues in the nation’s other affiliates to consider implementing a similar innovation.”

Help Me Grow Orange County will now be working on increasing the number of family childcare providers who utilize the link to complete developmental screenings, and developing API (Application Programming Interface) to import screening results into the OC Children’s Screening Registry.

Parents, caregivers, and providers can call Help Me Grow Orange County at 866-GROW-025 (866-476-9025) or visit www.helpmegrowoc.org to get help in navigating the developmental services system in Orange County.


Meet Dr. Jonathan Auth

CHOC Children’s wants its medical staff and patients to get to know its growing team of physicians, including primary and specialty care providers. Today, meet one of our pediatricians Dr. Jonathan Auth.   After graduating from USC Keck School of Medicine, he completed his residency at UCLA, for which he served as chief resident.  He’s been on the CHOC medical staff for seven years.

Dr. Jonathan Auth, CHOC Children’s pediatrician

Q: What are your clinical interests?

A: I am especially interested in newborn care.

Q: What are your most common diagnoses?

A: I see a lot of patients with fevers, viral upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis, asthma, allergy, rhinitis, rashes and eczema. I also provide well child care.

Q: When did you decide to become a pediatrician?

A: Growing up in a large family with seven brothers and sisters, I always enjoyed being around children. As a young child, I enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together.  Combining my love for fixing things and my personality as a people person, it became clear to me in high school that I was called into a life of medicine.

Q: If you weren’t a physician, what you be and why?

A: A teacher. So much of what I do every day is teaching and explaining how the body works.  I love having the answer and being able to see the look of understanding develop on another person’s face as he or she comprehends a concept for the first time.

Q: What are your hobbies and interests outside of medicine?

A: I enjoy gardening, woodworking, food, wine and the cinema.

Q: What’s the funniest thing a patient said to you?

A: Children really do view the world differently. Referencing my patients’ charts during office visits, I will frequently acknowledge recent birthdays.  Patients are often in awe, wondering how I knew it was their birthdays.

Dr. Auth and his colleagues at Sea View Pediatrics, are part of the CHOC Children’s Primary Care Network. You can reach him at 949- 951-5437.

5 Things NICU Families Need to Hear From a Clinician

Having a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be an emotional and fraught experience for even the most seasoned parents.

And though they can take comfort knowing that their infants are receiving exceptional care in the CHOC Children’s NICU, parents also look to physicians, nurses and other clinicians for reassurance and support.

Here, parents explain what clinicians can say to help them feel more confident and at ease while their child receives care in the NICU.

“Your baby is important and special.”    

I know you treat many babies like mine, or even those sicker, but this is my baby. It’s important to me that you know her name. I’ve waited a long time for her, and everything I envisioned has been      turned upside down.

“Let me explain that again.” 

I realize I’ve asked the same question several times. Please be patient with me: I am learning an  entirely new language and navigating a new world, and I might need to hear something a few times.

“You are not a burden.”     

I’m sorry that I’ve called the nurses station every night and that I’ve asked for you to be paged so many times. I don’t mean to be a nuisance, but I am worried about my baby constantly.

“May I sit with you?”     

You are so busy, but when you take the time to sit with me during rounds, I feel like my baby is your only patient and you really hear my concerns.

“You are doing a great job.”     

I’m trying my hardest to advocate and care for my baby under circumstances I never would have imagined. I’ve been racking my brain to determine what I did wrong or how I could have prevented this situation, and my confidence as a parent is low. I need reassurance.