“Expanding Our Pediatric Space to better care for some of AAMC’s littlest patients” by Carol Lacher, R.N.

“Expanding Our Pediatric Space to better care for some of AAMC’s littlest patients” by Carol Lacher, R.N.

Little patients are a big deal at AAMC.

Improving care for this very special patient population is part of our Vision 2010 strategic plan, formulated to meet the needs of AAMC’s patients, staff and community.

In Fall 2011, AAMC will celebrate the opening of a dedicated Pediatric ED and Pediatric Inpatient Unit, located in the first floor of the new patient care tower. Staffed by an expert team of AAMC’s pediatric and emergency health care providers, this state-of-the-art space will allow us to better streamline our pediatric patient care and enhance collaboration among staff.

Design changes were guided by current evidence-based quality improvement principles and benchmarks for safe, timely, efficient, cost-effective care. This strategically designed space will include eight in-patient beds, eight emergency beds, a pediatric treatment room for in-patient procedures, two waiting rooms and a large nautically themed playroom.

Pediatric and emergency physicians and nurses will work closely in caring for patients throughout the course of their hospital stay. “The new combined Pediatric Emergency Department and Inpatient Unit will care for children with a wide spectrum of conditions, ranging from minor illness and injury to more serious medical conditions,” says Mike Clemmens, M.D., pediatric  hospitalist.

Using a new staffing model, members of the pediatric health care team will be trained to work throughout the pediatric space. “Pediatric staff may work one night on the ED side and the next night on the Inpatient side,” says Lacher. “This will enhance collaboration among our staff and will allow our patients and their families to see the synergy between our health care providers as they move through the hospital.”

“The development of a family-focused pediatric care delivery model, designed to provide easy movement and collaboration between emergency and inpatient care, is both exciting and challenging,” says Janice Drum, M.S.N., R.N., clinical director of the Emergency Department. “The process of integration is well under way: a team of physicians and nurses see pediatric patients several times a week in a ‘virtual’ Pediatric ED, housed in the current ED. This provides a safe and effective venue to develop and trial processes related to flow, as well as a training ground for physicians and nurses.”

An interdisciplinary team of physicians and nurses is continually working to make the transition to our new pediatric space as smooth as possible. A special thank you goes out to these dedicated health care providers: Mike Clemmens, M.D., Janice Drum, M.S.N., R.N., Dina Esterowitz, M.D., Misa Ewing, M.S.N., M.B.A., R.N., Dana Garver, M.S.N., R.N., Ken Gummerson, M.D., Carol Lacher, R.N., Sherry Perkins, Ph.D., R.N., Henry Sobel, M.D., Teresa Swift, R.N., and Margaret Wyatt, B.S.N., R.N., F.N.E.-A.

Looking ahead, this expansion is a big deal for our little patients. We’re not only  making room for advanced medical technologies and skilled staff, but maintaining AAMC’s culture of excellence through our ability to offer exceptional pediatric care.


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