celebration of quality and patient safety

I was honored today to be invited to share in the celebration of quality in the Carilion Clinic Children's Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). This is the 60-bed unit that provides care to our most vulnerable patients. It is the largest intensive care unit in our hospital, and is the third largest such unit in the State of Virginia (Inova Fairfax NICU has 72 beds in Northern Virginia, and Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters (CHKD) has 62 beds.

Our NICU serves patients from all over the "near Southwest" and some areas of West Virginia, central Virginia and Eastern Tennessee. The patients are often tiny--less than a pound in weight, or have significant congenital problems requiring surgery, or other sophisticated and complex care. Providing this care takes a coordinated and dedicated group of people.

The Celebration of quality was organized by the physician and nursing leadership of the NICU to recognize the hard work done by all  members of the healthcare team over the past year. They have initiated many quality projects, demonstrating excellent outcomes. The areas include decrease in the incidence of "central line associated blood stream infections (CLABSI)," "ventilator associated pneumonia," prevention of unintended extubation (when a breathing tube that is connected to the ventilator falls out), and decrease of length of stay (getting babies home as soon as it is safe to do so).

I am SOOOO proud of this group. They work so hard every day to make the care in this NICU the best it can be--anywhere. Achieving excellent outcomes requires the solid commitment of nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, social workers, case managers, physical, occupational and speech therapists, pharmacists, and others.  It is a great joy to me to see how seriously they take the meaning of the word team, and how well the babies treated in our NICU do.


Recent Comments

Thank you for this recognition.
We give to "our" babies and their families everything we have to give every single day we work. Nursing care can be effective and make a difference only if those providing it give themselves completely,and always, to our patients and their families. In the NICU, as you have noticed, you see this kind of care consistently demonstrated.

Thank you for acknowledging this accomplishment. We have all worked diligently as a team to achieve these goals. I am proud to be a part of this successful endeavor.

Thanks for acknowledging the achievement. It is a pleasure to take care of patients in the NICU. They make us better at what we do.

Working in the NICU as a Nursing Assistant and Clinical Secretary, I see many things throughout the entire unit on a daily basis. NICU is by far the best example of team work. Our staff is 200% committed to these precious babies and to their co-workers.
I am very proud to be a member of the NICU team. Thank you for acknowledging their hard work and committment to the NICU.

They deserve lots of acknowledgment as do all nurse of course. They are a hard working group at a very high stress level most of the time. Keep up the great work!

I too want to applaud the NICU team for their outstanding outcomes and committment to quality. The NICU is a large and complex environment with many dedicated staff.
As a new leader in quality here at CCCH I have learned a tremendous amount from the NICU team over the past two years. Keep up the excellence. We are lucky to have such a high quality unit in our region!!

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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