Children's Hospital Colorado

Discussing Quality with Patients and Families: Why We Include Parents in Our Care Team

Children’s Hospital TODAY | November 01, 2016

According to Children’s Hospital Colorado physicians Eric Benz, MD, and Jenny Reese, MD, many things have changed over the years in regards to the medical care decision making process.

“Back in the old days,” says Dr. Reese who was a medical resident in the late 1990s, “we used to sit around a conference table and discuss our patients.” She also notes that then the physicians would make rounds and deliver the news of the care plan they had designed behind closed doors.

Not anymore.

Celebrating 10 years of patient-centered care

Ever since 2006, when the doctors of Children’s Colorado use the term “we,” they’re not just referring to the medical staff —they’re also including patients and families. Dr. Reese says that the goal is to involve the parents in every decision. “It’s beneficial to have them see our decision-making process and to be part of the team,” she says.

And these efforts have been recognized: In 2015, Children’s Colorado won the AHA-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize, an award given to one hospital annually in recognition of demonstrated commitment to safe, highly-reliable, patient-centered care. What’s more, judges said patient-family involvement was one of the things that made our hospital stand out.

It doesn’t stop there

In addition to implementing family-centered rounding, Children’s Colorado has introduced other initiatives to make patients and families an increasingly involved part of the care team. These include, for example, giving parents the opportunity to have a seat on the Board of Directors.

"Having parents on the Board of Directors has changed the dynamic of the discussion. They infuse it with a sense of urgency, amplify the priority of everything we do, and continuously challenge us to think about new ways we can improve the care we provide to their children," said Daniel Hyman, MD, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer.

Read more about these initiatives and what else we’re doing to involve parents and reduce harm in the full article from Children’s Hospital TODAY.

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