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In many ways, pediatric intensive care is the heart of our hospital, a hub that serves and drives outcomes for every specialty. Patients with acute disease and trauma, patients coming out of surgeries and organ transplants, complicated patients, unstable patients: the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Children's Hospital Colorado cares for them all.
As a regional supercenter and the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in a 350-mile radius, our PICU cares for some of the most acute, high-risk pediatric conditions in seven states. And our PICU team handles higher volumes while providing better outcomes and shorter stays than the national average — by a wide margin.
At Children's Colorado, we evaluate our success by comparing our PICU outcomes with other top pediatric hospitals. Transparency with our patients and colleagues is one of the keys to our success as one of the top 10 children's hospitals in the U.S.
We measure a number of outcomes to ensure that we're providing the highest level of pediatric critical care for our patients. The following data is from Virtual Pediatric Systems, LLC (VPS) for 2016-2017.
Children's Colorado is home to one of the busiest PICUs in the country, treating approximately 3,000 patients per year. In fact, our PICU treats roughly 30 percent more patients annually compared to the averages of our peer institutions. This means we have more experience treating patients with a wide variety of illnesses and injuries.
With clinical staffing to match our busy unit, each child receives the individual attention and constant monitoring they need.
Our dedication to providing exceptional care to every patient has allowed us to achieve PICU survival rates among the best in the country. Our overall patient survival rate is 98 percent, outperforming the national average.
Measured another way, mortality in our PICU is much lower than the national average. The following graph shows the standardized mortality ratio (SMR), or the predicted mortality given a patient's severity of illness, against the actual outcome. This means that even though our patients are sicker, they survive at a higher rate than expected.
The standardized or severity-adjusted length-of-stay ratio (SLOSR) predicts length of stay based on the severity of the child's condition. Here, too, we are better than the national average.
This means that our patients are sicker than at other PICUs, but they leave our PICU sooner than expected.
When comparing mortality (SMR) and length of stay (SLOSR) against national averages, Children's Colorado is in the 95th percentile for both, meaning that we scored as well or better than 95 percent of similar institutions.
Plotted out with SMR on the y-axis and SLOSR on the x-axis, our PICU plots in the lower-left quadrant as measured against national averages.