The Program for Patient Safety and Quality (PPSQ)

Boston Children's Hospital is committed to providing the highest-quality pediatric care to all patients and families. Through the work of the Program for Patient Safety and Quality (PPSQ), the department helps to maintain standards of practice and measure ourselves against our own prior performance and against other children's hospitals nationwide.

With its dedicated staff spread across multiple teams, the department as a whole has a focus on engaging with different stakeholders in order to implement continuous improvement efforts. Patient outcomes information, reportable events, and links to external sources help to demonstrate how our care is evaluated, in many different dimensions. We regularly benchmark our performance against various external resources in order to ensure we are achieving the standards we aim to achieve.

Along with the overview of this basic infrastructure, we want to highlight two teams that are particularly innovative parts of our program. The Center for Patient Safety and Quality Research (CPSQR) was launched in 2011 with a vision to support and accelerate academic, scientific, and research activities of faculty in the areas of patient safety and quality. The Center has awarded 139 PPSQ grants for a total of $1.5M and four CPSQR grants for $400K.

In 2014, the center launched the Scholars Program to support research and accelerate careers of faculty in patient safety and quality. Nearing one-year evaluation, The Center successfully supported four abstracts, four grants, and six projects. The Center offers academic support to Harvard Medical School fellows in quality and safety, most recently completing a review of medication alerts for drug-drug interactions with potential for pharmacy IT system changes in the future. For some of the information shared and disseminated through the Center, please visit our news and publications page.

Our focus on the creation and sharing of transparent information aims to educate the public, inform families, and share information with physicians, nurses, staff, and partners both inside and outside of the organization, to build our reputation as a national and international leader and innovator of transparent information regarding patient safety and quality.

In addition to the CPSQR, the Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs®) team is an integral and dynamic part of PPSQ. SCAMPs are an innovative quality improvement method of examining relevant clinical data to improve patient outcomes while reducing practice variation among clinicians and minimizing unnecessary resource utilization in care delivery.

SCAMPs are implemented within the clinical workflow as a decision-support tool that allows for natural diversions in care by physicians and includes the collection of data on the diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes of the patients within the targeted population. The data sets are analyzed periodically; results are fed back to the SCAMP clinical design team, who use the learnings to continuously optimize the care pathway behind the SCAMP.