COVID-19 Update: Limiting Elective Surgeries

The current surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations is stretching Children’s teams, impacting patient volumes and staffing, requiring operational adjustments. Similar to health care colleagues locally and nationally, we are limiting elective surgeries and procedures that require hospital admissions. All surgical cases requiring an inpatient stay are being reviewed prior to being added to the schedule to ensure those children who require urgent surgical care are treated in a timely manner. To seek approval for overnight stays, please contact Mindy Bosanek, director of Surgical Services, via email or at 402-955-5818. Those directly affected by this change in process have received more detailed communication. Children’s remains committed to providing the safest, highest-quality pediatric surgical care in a timely manner.

  • ALL cases requiring an overnight stay require preapproval by Mindy Bosanek.
  • Some scheduled cases may need to be delayed or moved due to a limitation of med/surg admissions per day for surgery.
  • Implemented limitations remain in effect until rescinded and will be updated as the situation evolves.
  • When booking a case, specify Intensive Care Unit vs Med/Surg vs Short-Stay Observation Unit. Observation and admission requests alone do not provide enough information for planning.

Thank you,

Mindy Bosanek, APRN

Jessica Goeller, D.O.

Paul Esposito, M.D.

Trauma Update During COVID-19 Surge

Trauma to children has not abated, regardless of the severe spike in COVID-19 cases impacting our region. Children’s continues to fully function as a Level 2 Pediatric Trauma Center despite high volumes, staffing challenges and inpatient bed shortages. Children’s dedicated staff continues to do an amazing job accepting and treating trauma patients.

Referring physicians should continue to call when Children’s Trauma services are required, so our Trauma team can direct and plan appropriate next steps based on patient needs, as well as available resources. Children’s is making every effort to provide for all the children who need specialized trauma care.

Please Schedule Mask Fitting Before Feb. 11; More Appointments Added

Local suppliers are struggling to keep up our supply of 1860 N95 masks and, as a result, all staff who currently use the 1860 N95 mask must be fitted for a different N95 mask right away to ensure Children’s maintains a sufficient supply of N95 masks for everyone who needs them. The deadline to be refit is Feb. 11, 2022. More appointment times have recently been added through Jan. 28.

Children’s providers can click on the “N95 Mask Refit” button under “COVID-19 Updates” on the myChildren’s home page to download the mask fit report. It is updated regularly. You can sign up for a refitting time here, or call Employee Health, 402-955-6020, to schedule an appointment or get questions answered. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter and for all you are  doing to keep our patients, families and colleagues safe.

Call for Nominations for Pediatric Legends

In more than 70 years, Children’s has been fortunate to have some of the finest and most beloved physicians, innovators and pioneers pass through its doors. Some of these individuals hold a special place in the lives of the patients for whom they cared, as well as with their peers. They are thought of as pediatric legends. Children’s has been recognizing these pediatric legends since 2003.

See the list of past Pediatric Legends

The medical staff has the opportunity to nominate providers into this very special group of Legends. Please consider nominating a potential legend who has:

  • Made a significant contribution to pediatric health care in the community
  • Served in a leadership role
  • Been an innovator, champion or pioneer in medicine or pediatric health care, and/or
  • Demonstrated excellence in teaching or research

Nominations will be evaluated by a selection committee, and the results will be announced in the first quarter of 2022.  A dinner honoring the newest Legends will be held later this year.

Click here for the nomination form and send the completed form to Sara Watson, Medical Staff Services, by Feb. 1, 2022.

Children’s in the News

Ann Anderson Berry, M.D., Children’s division chief of Neonatology, was interviewed for a KETV story regarding COVID-19 rates and care for pregnant women and their babies.

Watch it here.

Jayesh Thakker, M.D., MBA, Pediatric Critical Care, was interviewed for a story on KLKN in Lincoln regarding the increase in COVID-19 cases and other infections in PICU patients.

Watch it here.

Sharon Stoolman, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine, was interviewed regarding children and COVID-19. Her perspective was included in this KETV story.

Monthly Pediatric Writing Group Meetings Start Jan. 25

The Pediatric Writing Group welcomes residents, fellows, and/or students who may be interested in having their work reviewed. The January meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 25 at noon via Zoom.

The Pediatric Writing Group meets monthly to provide informal peer review of any type of written product related to Pediatrics, regardless of specialty. If you have a manuscript, abstract, poster or grant in any state of completion that you would like informally peer-reviewed at this month’s meeting, please email it to me at epeeples@childrensomaha.org by Wednesday, Jan. 19. If you would like your work reviewed, but the standing meeting date does not work for your deadlines, please feel free to reach out. We are happy to attempt to set up an additional meeting date to review your work.

If you are interested in being a reviewer or just attending the meetings to learn more about the process of writing in order to improve your own skills, please let me know and I will add you to the monthly meeting invitation. While the requests for manuscripts go out to all CHRI members and pediatric faculty, I only send the Zoom invitation and works for review to those who have asked to be included in the group.

Best,

Eric Peeples, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP

Care Teams Expand to Include LPNs

To address nursing staffing challenges, Children’s has added a care team role – the licensed practical nurse (LPN). Partnering with the NE DHHS board of nursing, the LPN has a comprehensive scope of practice in Nebraska. LPNs will be added to most inpatient units, and ambulatory areas are also currently exploring the LPN role. 

Children’s is currently seeking to hire about 20 LPNs in Med/Surg, NICU, Cardiac Care Unit and Emergency Department. Education requirements for an LPN include graduating with an associate’s degree and passing the NCLEX-PN exam administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). Many LPNs go on to obtain their RN licensure, which can eventually help with RN recruitment.

Creating long-term solutions through a dynamic workforce is essential to actively meet our community and staff needs in providing the highest quality patient care. For more information specific to each area, connect with the nurse director team.  

Lab Alerts:

COVID-19 Testing Diverted
Due to increased demand for COVID-19, flu and RSV testing and supply shortages, testing has in many cases had to be diverted. Due to this necessary pivot, COVID-19 and flu orders have been temporarily changed to a Miscellaneous Order. Miscellaneous orders are generic orders with no detailed configuration in Epic due to the broad possibilities of its use. Therefore, the abnormal flag will not append to the abnormal result. These results are all manually entered, along with normal reference ranges as comments. For the time being it will be important to review these miscellaneous tests in Epic since they will not have a flag appended to them.

Return Blood Products
Due to critically low blood supply in our region, Methodist is asking for Children’s help by returning any blood that is requested but not used. By returning this blood to Methodist, it can be reallocated for our patients and help conserve our local blood supply. Blood that is not returned in a timely manner is discarded and cannot be used.

CHRI Pediatric Academic Workshop to Take Place Feb. 25

Make plans to attend “From Bench to Bedside to Bench,” a Pediatric Academic Workshop offered by the Child Health Research Institute (CHRI), which will be offered in a virtual format on Friday, Feb. 25, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The emphasis of this workshop will be to help investigators understand how to convert research ideas into reality, how to better connect clinical and bench science to impact patient care and how to benefit from mentorship from senior investigators to develop your own career path.

Click here for the agenda and registration information.

Employee Assistance Program Offers Online Wellness Resources

ComPsych is a program that offers no-cost, confidential solutions to life’s challenges. Consultations, support, resources and information are available 24/7 for emotional support, work-life solutions, legal guidance, financial resources and more. To speak with someone, call 833-789-9885, or visit guidanceresources.com. Click on Register and insert “ChildrensOmahaEAP” in the space for Organization Web ID.

See the flier for more information. Contact Sarah Wheeler, Corporate Wellness, with any questions.

Take note of these upcoming webinars:
Participants can sign up in Cornerstone to receive the registration links.

Jan. 26
Languishing, Flourishing and Your Mental Health
3 – 4 p.m.
Working on our mental health need not be reserved just for those who are in crisis or are faced with an official diagnosis. Mental health matters for everyone. This interactive session will provide helpful ideas on how to move from languishing through work and life to flourishing.

Feb. 10
Managing Up for Professional Success
11 a.m. – noon
Knowing how to work with your supervisor can be one of the most challenging and most important components of a successful career. This session will provide tips on how to “manage up” in order to build a successful, transparent and mutually beneficial relationship with your boss.

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