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St. Charles Bend participates in national quality improvement project aimed at better managing children with asthma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2018

St. Charles Bend is one of two hospitals in Oregon and among 89 hospitals nationwide that are involved in a project designed to improve the care children with asthma receive in the Emergency Department and in the hospital.

Led by Dr. Sunitha Kaiser and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the project—Pathways for Improving PediatricAsthma Care (PIPA)—is designed to help remove the barriers physicians face to consistently practicing evidence-based medicine. Through the Value in Inpatient Pediatrics Network, participating hospitals like St. Charles Bend are receiving content and quality improvement guidance.

Asthma affects nearly 10 percent of American children, making it one of the most common reasons children visit the Emergency Department and are admitted to the hospital, said Dr. Suzanne Mendez, medical director of the pediatric hospitalist program at St. Charles Bend.

“Getting better control of asthma would decrease hospital admissions, decrease costs and increase children’s quality of life,” she said.

When children suffer an asthma attack, Mendez said, their smooth muscles constrict around their small airways. At the same time, they also experience inflammation. Getting inflammation under control requires steroids, which take time to go into effect.

One of the metrics St. Charles Bend will monitor and aim to improve is how quickly children with asthma receive steroids in the Emergency Department, which could result in a decrease in hospital admissions and out-of-area transfers.

“Part of the project that we’re taking on is getting steroids to kids earlier,” she said. “So, hopefully they start turning around faster and they don’t end up getting admitted to the hospital or getting sent to Portland because we’re getting on top of it as fast as we can.”

Through the project, children with asthma seen at St. Charles Bend will receive the same high-quality and evidence-based care available at large, academic children’s hospitals. The project provides tools that will help support health care providers in selecting and providing appropriate medications, selecting appropriate tests and effectively counseling families. The project will also offer Continuing Medical Education and American Board of Pediatrics Maintenance of Certification credits to physicians who meet the qualifying criteria.

“It’s really exciting to be involved in a nationwide project with all kinds of experts from the different children’s hospitals,” Mendez said. “Being chosen as one of the 89 sites was quite an honor for our group. I think we’ll learn a lot about not only how to better take care of our kids with asthma, but also quality improvement in general.”

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.

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About the AAP:

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 64,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.

About St. Charles Health System
St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 4,200 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities. For more information, www.stcharleshealthcare.org/

About VIP Network:

The Value in Inpatient Pediatrics Network improves the value of care delivered to any pediatric patient in a hospital bed by helping providers implement clinical practice guidelines and other best practices, with a special focus on eliminating harm and waste caused by overutilization. Click here to access the VIP Website