Congratulations to the editors of Pediatric Quality and Safety as they present their first issue of a journal whose time has come. Pediatric specialists and children’s hospitals have been industry leaders in embracing the challenge of both patient and employee safety, and progress in the last decade has been remarkable. In 2009, all 8 children’s hospitals in Ohio joined together to form a collaborative, the Ohio Children’s Hospitals Solutions for Patient Safety, and attained considerable success in reducing surgical-site infections and adverse drug events using quality improvement science methodology. That concept has gone national, and now more than 100 children’s hospitals have come together to reduce serious harm by working to eliminate 10 hospital-acquired conditions. The results are encouraging. Key to this success has been a commitment to transparency—data sharing and the free flow of information. The collaborative is only a portion of pediatric quality improvement activity, which is generating a great deal of information that needs dissemination and debate. This new journal will be a perfect vehicle for those discussions.
Of course, safety is not the only issue; quality is equally important: discovering and sharing best practices to get the finest outcomes for our children. When we reliably deliver all aspects of evidence-based care, the result can improve outcomes more than a new medication, genetic manipulation, or surgical procedure. Concentrating relevant articles in a single journal will be a useful addition to the field.
We who are charged by our Boards of Directors to operationalize our hospitals’ mission and vision are constantly thinking about value and must balance competing requests for financial support in the face of limited resources. The value proposition of quality and safety has been made, and it is imperative that we remember that, in the long run, it is our patients’ outcomes that are paramount, and sufficient investment in quality should not be deferred. As we move increasingly toward value-based reimbursement, this will make even more economic sense.
These are exciting times involving much change, challenge, and opportunity. New ideas will emerge, old ideas will be challenged, and a new generation of innovators will emerge to succeed those of us who are currently in leadership positions. I expect this all to be reflected in the pages of Pediatric Quality and Safety, which will have an important role in fostering continuous improvement in outcomes for our patients and families.
The author has no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.