New Clinical Documentation Program Improves Workflow

To improve reporting, and move to an Epic-based clinical documentation system, Children’s is implementing a new Clinical Documentation Improvement (CDI) process. In the new workflow, an inpatient query will no longer be addressed to a team, but instead will go to the provider. The query message will appear in the right sidebar in the patient’s chart and the provider’s inbasket.  When providers respond quickly to accurately change the documentation while the patient is still inpatient, a post-discharge Health Information Management (HIM) query is avoided.  More importantly, the documentation in the chart is more accurate, leading to better communication among providers.

The scheduled launch of the CDI is mid-July, once testing and training have occurred. There will be more information to come. Contact Sheilah Snyder, CDI Physician Advisor, with questions.

Children’s Initiates New Model of Service Delivery

As part of our ongoing commitment to exceptional clinical care, Children’s is developing a new service line model to ensure the most effective and efficient delivery of services across multiple settings and locations.

Historically, with the exception of a few service lines,  hospital and outpatient services have been organized around a care function or a geography. Our new service lines will be organized around the distinct clinical and support needs of specific patient populations. This approach will break down barriers by bringing together teams of interdisciplinary caregivers who will focus on the needs of the patient population they serve.

“We believe this approach will provide better opportunities for collaborative, continuum-based care,” said Heather Smith, vice president, Pediatrics. “We anticipate improved outcomes and fewer complications and readmissions—and these translate to higher quality and lower cost of care.”

With this evidence-based model, a physician and an operational leader will share responsibility for a redefined service line and will co-manage quality, financials, performance improvement, workflows, best use of information technology, and patient safety—with the patient experience at the heart of it all.  They will also be responsible for creating and implementing a shared vision and for working with strategic planning to create a comprehensive strategic and operational plan with the expectation of programmatic growth for the service line.

“Each service line and its leadership team will be accountable for maximizing the patient experience and staff performance in every way,” said Brian Allison, vice president, Surgical Services. “That involves many responsibilities, including creating clinical pathways across the care continuum, developing new service offerings, establishing metrics to optimize performance, and developing plans for growth.”

The new model also encourages development and execution of research and academic plans, as well as a forward-thinking approach to expanding Children’s geographic reach.

Two newly redefined service lines will be in place by year’s end—Cardiology & Cardiothoracic Surgery, which will move to the leadership of Brian Allison and Fernando Ferrer, M.D., senior vice president and Surgeon-in-Chief, and one that includes Nephrology, Dialysis, Urology and Pediatric Gynecology under the leadership of Heather Smith and Christopher Maloney, M.D., senior vice president and Chief Medical Officer. More service lines will follow in 2019 and beyond.

“This model helps us sharpen our focus on collaborative patient care and directs our efforts toward continuous growth,” said Smith.

For questions about the new model, contact Heather Smith or Brian Allison.

New Policy Outlines Safe Practices While Caring for Patients with Infectious Diseases

With staff safety as a top priority, Children’s has developed a policy, Infection Control Guidelines for Pregnant Health Care Workers, outlining infection prevention guidelines for health care workers who are currently pregnant or trying to conceive. The policy was written and approved by an interdisciplinary team that included members from Employee Health, Infection Prevention and clinical leadership.

If you have access to Children’s Intranet, you can read policy HR252 here.

The policy is intended to provide education on the risks of acquiring a communicable disease during pregnancy and to help prevent exposure whenever possible.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends consistent adherence to the Standard Precautions listed below, when staff is potentially exposed to infectious agents.

Follow these precautions for the best protection from exposure:

Keep all immunizations up to date, including TDAP, recommended as a one-time booster for all pregnant women during the third trimester of each pregnancy to prevent pertussis. Pertussis can be easily passed from the mother to the newborn.

Meticulously follow Standard Precautions:

  • Perform hand hygiene before and after contact with the patient or patient environment
  • Wear gloves if hands are likely to contact body fluids
  • Wear a gown if blood or body fluids are likely to contact your body or clothing
  • Wear a mask with eye protection for all activities that are likely to generate splashes or sprays

If you receive any specific direction from your health care provider, you will need to follow up with Employee Health. Employee Health will evaluate the directions and follow up with supervisors.

These guidelines are specific to infectious diseases only. Additional information will be communicated at a later date regarding medication precautions during conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Trista Gaebel, Employee Health.

Child Care Partner Title is Now Certified Nursing Assistant

During the week of June 11-15, take a moment to recognize the work done by Children’s Child Care Partner professionals; their title will change in July to Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

The new title, established by Children’s Professional Advancement Council (PAC), recognizes the training and certification required for the role, and mirrors standard usage within the industry. The council, as part of Children’s shared governance structure, surveyed Child Care Partners across the organization and took their thoughts and opinions into account in making the title change.

“It’s the council’s task to keep an ear to the ground, to be aware of issues and to take action where needed,” said Judy Thomas, MSN, RN, director, Professional Nursing Practice. “This title change not only helps Children’s recruit qualified individuals, it also validates the role.”

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Medical/Allied Health Staff Welcome Breakfast is Friday

Please plan to attend a breakfast to welcome new members of the Medical/Allied Health staff Friday, June 8, at 7:30 a.m., in Children’s boardroom, third floor Pavilion, in the Administration office suite.

Jaycob Edwards, PA-C – Children’s Hospital & Medical Center – Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Jackie Erb, APRN-CRNA – Children’s Hospital & Medical Center – Anesthesiology

Nicole Finch, APRN – Children’s Hospital & Medical Center – Neonatology

Brooke Givens, APRN, DNP – Children’s Hospital & Medical Center – Pediatric Surgery

Kristina Johnson, APRN – Project Harmony – Child Abuse

Russell McCulloh, MD – Children’s Specialty Physicians – Chief of Pediatric Hospitalists Department

Zafar Sayed, MD – University of Nebraska Medical Center – Head & Neck Otolaryngology

Pediatric Residents Honor Faculty

Jason Burrows, MD

Steven Sindelar, MD

To honor select faculty members for their dedication to the Pediatrics Residency Program, residents vote yearly for faculty members who they felt went above and beyond expectations.

This year, Creighton University School of Medicine residents honored Jason Burrows, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine, with a Faculty award and Steven Sindelar, M.D., Children’s Physicians, Bellevue, received the Outstanding Children’s Physician.


UNMC residents selected: (from L-R) Kent Kronberg, M.D.,Children’s Physicians, Eagle Run, to receive the Outstanding Volunteer Faculty Member award; Paul Larsen, M.D., Neurology, to receive the Faculty award; and Aileen Aldrich, M.D., Graduate Medical Education, received the Fellow award.


Throughout the year, residents vote for one community and one academic faculty member for their dedication to the Pediatric Residency Program, who they felt went above and beyond expectations and for taking the extra time to improve residents’ education.

Sheryl Pitner, M.D.

Robert Woodford, M.D.

Honorees for April were Sheryl Pitner, M.D., (Academic Faculty – Children’s Physicians, UNMC), and Robert Woodford, M.D., (Community Physician – Methodist Physicians Clinic, Regency).

Congratulations, and thanks to these physicians for their commitment to the residency program and for working to improve the future physicians of our community.


Children’s residents and fellows were recently honored at a banquet hosted by the Creighton-Nebraska-Children’s Joint Pediatrics Residency Program. They will be completing their residency or fellowship on June 30 and moving on to employment or additional training. Some of the 20 physicians are staying in Omaha and others are moving to other areas of the U.S. Click here to see where they’re going.

Health Literacy Affects Everyone

As an organization, one of Children’s goals is to “deliver an outstanding patient and family experience — every time.” One way that we can achieve this goal is to ensure that we are a Health Literate Organization.

Health literacy is important because patients and families need to be able to find, understand and use health information and services. Health literacy isn’t just about teaching families, it also involves signage within the institution directing them to the correct place, or completing complex medical forms such as consent or insurance forms.

A Health Literacy Workgroup has been formed to assess the current practices at Children’s related to Health Literacy. Workgroup members include Alicia Bremer, Performance Improvement; Maria Johnson, M.D., Pediatric Emergency Medicine; Sharon Stoolman, M.D., Pediatric Hospital Medicine; Cherie Lytle, Patient Experience; Kathy Knowlton, Social Work ; Rick Perez, Ambulatory Operations; Crystal Smith, Nursing Administration; Meghan Spencer, Nursing Education; and Judy Timmons, Nursing Administration. The workgroup uses the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Health Literacy Universal Precautions Toolkit as their guide.

For more information, contact Alicia Bremer, or any one of the workgroup members.

Golfers Support Children’s, Raise More than $200,000

Two sell-out golf tournaments – Fore! the Kids and Children’s Charity Classic – have raised more than $200,000 for Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.

Fore! the Kids Golf Tournament, held May 14 at Hillcrest Country Club in Lincoln, raised nearly $90,000 for Children’s Specialty Pediatric Clinic – Lincoln. A week later on May 21, Children’s Charity Classic raised more than $120,000 for the Hubbard Center for Children.

If you missed these two tournaments, you can still support Children’s by golfing in Aerotek’s 6th Annual Charity Golf Event on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 at Tiburon Golf Course in Omaha. Proceeds will benefit Children’s Wishing Well program, which grants wishes to critically or chronically ill children associated with the hospital on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

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