As a forward-thinking early supporter of a pediatric hospitalist program, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital sought experienced hospitalists and developed experts in information technology, quality improvement, hospital utilization management and medical education. The term “hospitalist” was coined in 1996, and today, the program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s provides expert care to complex patients, whether they arrive seeking treatment from across town, the country or the globe.
“Each of our physicians shares unique talents and interests that, when combined, result in efforts to provide safer, higher quality care across a wide spectrum of pediatric illness,” explains Bob Dudas, M.D., chief academic hospitalist. “We also serve as the leaders of the multidisciplinary care teams that include the pediatric subspecialists at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Our Medical Director Steven Kennedy [M.D.] ensures that we are providing patient-focused, family-centered care while ensuring a safe and coordinated transition of care when patients are discharged home.”
The program has won many teaching awards and emphasizes academics in working with residents and fellows.
“The strength of our program allows us to have hospitalists who sit on the editorial boards of Pediatrics and Hospital Pediatrics and others who are members of national committees,” Dudas says. “Importantly, we are Johns Hopkins and thus have access to incomparable resources such as those at the Armstrong Institute in Baltimore, which focus on quality and safety. We are also able to tap into expertise in education by partnering with our Baltimore colleagues for training of our hospitalists as well as trainees.”
Highlighting Research and Education
The program has a strong focus on research and academia. “We have a wide range of research interests,” Dudas explains. “It’s an exciting time at Johns Hopkins All Children’s because the institution has just opened a new state-of-the-art building that contains the necessary infrastructure required for research, and we can now focus on research projects that we haven’t had the capacity for in the past. We are fortunate to have Dr. Neil Goldenberg as director of research, and he has developed programs including the Clinical and Translational Research Training Track and the Seminar Series in Academia, which have already led to hospitalists such as Dipti Amin, M.D., conducting and publishing research findings about the preventability of pediatric readmissions.”
In addition, hospitalist fellow John Morrison, M.D., Ph.D., is conducting research that benefits the care of patients with tracheostomies. These children are at-risk for repeat infections of their trachea, requiring multiple hospitalizations. Morrison is leading the team currently investigating what puts these children at risk.
Many of the team’s projects are directly focused on improving patient care and safety—top goals for the hospital. Another project is aimed at improving communication during transfers of care from one team to another. This is the time when errors are most likely to happen, and avoiding those errors is key to improving outcomes.
Dudas’ personal research is focused on evaluating the impact of simulation training on the care of critically ill children. His program is a core partner with ImPACTS (Improving Pediatric Acute Care Through Simulation), a national research program.
Dudas, who hopes Johns Hopkins All Children’s earns recognition as a top national hospitalist program, is spreading the word nationally with a strong public speaking agenda, attending conferences such as the Pediatric Hospital Medicine National Conference this summer in Atlanta. “We had 10 of our Johns Hopkins All Children’s providers in attendance and we left the conference recognizing that we have a relatively large hospitalist program, which is well ahead of many others with regard to our emphasis on quality, patient safety and education,” Dudas says proudly. Often speaking on quality, patient safety and education, he also emphasized research and the work he is doing on improving the diagnosis and treatment of auto-inflammatory and infectious diseases.
“Sharing our successes across the nation not only builds our national reputation but contributes to our institution’s academic mission to provide expert care and to share with others how to be experts, too.”
Visit HopkinsAllChildrens.org/hospitalists to learn more about the pediatric hospitalist program at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.