A Longstanding Tradition of Quality Care
University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s has always pursued a high standard of quality health care, and this commitment can be seen in the treatment of childhood diabetes, growth disorders in children, childhood obesity and other endocrine disorders. We are passionate about quality improvement efforts, offering best practices in interdisciplinary endocrinology care, proactive patient and family education and reliable and accurate treatment for children.
Minimizing Insulin Dosage Errors
To effectively treat diabetes, a child must receive just the right amount of insulin – and this can depend on their blood sugar and carbohydrate consumption. Because of this complexity, the administration of insulin is prone to medication errors. To help our nurses, patients and families consistently give the correct dose, we have developed a program to help with calculating insulin doses and included it directly in our electronic health record. The nurse enters the patient’s blood sugar and planned carbohydrate intake into the insulin dose calculator, and it calculates the appropriate amount of insulin. The nurse can then show the calculation to the patient and family, so they can determine the correct amount at home as well. This calculator has allowed us to get insulin to children faster without waiting for a doctor’s approval of the dose. It has also led to fewer dosing errors.
We are constantly looking for ways to improve the medication delivery process. To this end, our endocrinology team has started an insulin task force, working with colleagues in the pharmacy to determine other ideas for preventing dosing errors and supporting high-reliability in this area.
Innovative Patient Education
Managing diabetes and other endocrine conditions is a family commitment. To help patients and their families appreciate their role, we have developed an integrated education approach. Our trained diabetes nurse educators partner with patients and families, demonstrating how to administer medication, check blood sugar, monitor diet and exercise and know what to do in case of a problem. To further assist our patients and families, we developed a magnet that shows a diabetes action plan. Patients can hang this on their refrigerator. It serves as a quick reference if a child is having trouble, offering key steps to follow to resolve the issue. It also includes contact information for the endocrinology specialists team and after-hours line in case the problem does not resolve.
A Continuous Improvement Mindset
UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital is accredited by the American Diabetes Association. Each year, we are required to submit data about our treatments and outcomes to maintain accreditation. After submitting the information, we conduct an internal review to identify opportunities for improvement and develop appropriate action plans. We are constantly elevating the quality of care we provide to make sure it is as good as it can be.