Professor Ellen Bass Co-Authors Study Findings to Help Transform Pediatric Care and Safety in Teaching Hospitals

Ellen BassEllen Bass, PhD, professor in the Department of Information Science and interim senior associate dean of research at Drexel University’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), recently co-authored the findings from a multi-institution, collaborative research study (PI: Christopher Landrigan, MD, MPH, Boston Children’s Hospital) to help transform pediatric care and improve safety outcomes.

The study, titled "Implementing a Family-Centered Rounds Intervention Using Novel Mentor-Trios,” focuses on the implementation of a family-centered approach called Patient and Family Centered I-PASS (PFC I-PASS) in pediatric teaching hospitals. This approach emphasizes family and nurse engagement, health literacy, and structured communication during family-centered rounds. The study findings were published in the Feb. 2024 issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics' journal Pediatrics.

The research study was funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research in the US.

The study employed a unique "Mentor-Trio" implementation approach, involving multidisciplinary parent-nurse-physician teams coaching various hospital sites. The research, conducted from Feb. 29, 2019, to March 13, 2022, included a baseline period of three months and 12 months of post-implementation data collection across 21 US community and tertiary pediatric teaching hospitals.

Results showed significant improvements in adherence to the I-PASS components, bedside rounding, written round summaries, family and nurse engagement, and plain language. These positive changes were sustained a year after the implementation, indicating the effectiveness of the Mentor-Trio approach.

The study also assessed patient safety, reporting that resident-reported harms per 1,000 resident-days remained unchanged overall but decreased in larger hospitals, hospitals with greater nurse engagement on rounds, and those with better adherence to the I-PASS structure. With this structure, staff safety climate improved and hospitals experienced positive changes in safety grades. However, patient and family experience and teaching outcomes were not significantly affected by the intervention.

In conclusion, the Mentor-Trio approach proved successful in implementing PFC I-PASS, leading to improvements in family and nurse engagement, safety climate, and reductions in harms in larger hospitals and those with better nurse engagement and intervention adherence. While patient/family experience and teaching remained unchanged, the overall positive impact on safety and communication highlights the potential benefits of this family-centered approach in pediatric healthcare settings.

Read more about the project on Boston Children’s website.

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