St. Jude Researchers Propose Research Priorities for Improving Pediatric Care

Researchers from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis recently published a study that outlines 24 priorities for improving pediatric patient care and safety. The investigators identified key topics including the use of high reliability principles, culture of safety, patient care communication, and early warning systems for detecting and preventing patient decline.

“Children, especially those with catastrophic diseases, have unique characteristics that may require different approaches to improve patient safety, and this study sets a research agenda for pediatric patient safety,” said James Hoffman, PharmD, St. Jude chief patient safety officer and the study’s first author, in a statement.

Published in Pediatrics, the results are intended to provide health system leaders and patient safety experts to dedicate resources to areas that will improve clinical outcomes and safety for pediatric patients. The study was conducted within the Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) network, which includes more than 130 children’s hospitals.

“As a group, SPS network hospitals care for about half of all hospitalized children each year,” said senior author Kathleen Walsh, MD, MS, associate professor at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and director of research in the hospital’s James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence. “That means we are in the unique position to be able to have an immediate effect on pediatric patient safety.”