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by Tim James
Published on 20 July 2015

“Children are not mini adults - Paediatrics patients & their families require a different approach alongside IT”, said Dr. Giulio Bognolo (Cerner UK Chief Medical Officer) who led the kick off for the first UK Paediatrics Forum, held on Wednesday at our Cerner UK Collaboration Centre.

The shocking truth is that mortality rates for children aged 0-16 years are higher in the UK than other parts of Europe. Clinicians are therefore really keen to get hold of some IT tools that could help them delivering better care. The attendance at the paediatrics forum was reflective of this as more than 50 people came along.

The day was about having fun and learning together, and as a paediatrics nurse myself, whereby working on a kids ward involves some obligatory interaction with playing on Playstation and creating bubbles for distraction, I was happy to oblige! The Collaboration Centre was transformed into a paediatrics world of small beds and cots, alongside a display of artwork and toys. The forum had clients sharing chocolates and experiencing a patient journey through our paediatrics solution.

To accompany the day we were delighted to hear from Dr. Marvin Harper (CMIO) from Boston Children’s Hospital & Simmy Randhawa Nursing Director at Children's National Medical Centre, Washington DC, who shared their experiences of implementing an Electronic Patient Record (EPR) in large standalone children’s hospitals. It was clear from the expression on the faces of those in attendance, that everybody was keen to learn and be inspired by those who are already ahead in the journey.

We spent a whole hour listening and collecting the challenges, such as: ensuring allied health professionals are given tools to document and creating room for real innovation. Then all eyes picked up when the word PEWS (Paediatric Early Warning Score) was mentioned and somebody asked – “Can Millennium calculate this?” And our answer was a resounding “YES! And it has been built here in the UK!” After that, the conversations flowed and everybody had an attitude of “let’s do this together.”

The deeper dives into our physician and nursing experience, alongside our Oncology, NICU/PICU and population health solutions were a great enabler to exploring the art of the possible and engaging clinicians in facing their dream – to improve child health outcomes.

The promise that all those who attended the forum have committed to is to meet again in 1 year, and continue this journey together. This promise was easy to agree to, following Dr. Martin Grey (PICU Intensivist and CCIO at St. George’s University Hospital) presentation about the benefits evidence, from a UK perspective, for implementing an integrated EPR. He explained how an audit pre-implementation in PICU identified 67 incorrect dose units prescribed to sick children. Post implementation of the EPR they saw this reduce to zero – no harm.

Dr. Harper described the world of paediatrics as the most collaborative group of clinicians in comparison to other specialties. I agree with him from my own experiences, and I think this is due to paediatrics not just about caring for the patient (the child), it’s about the rest of the family too. The UK paediatric forum has gathered a new family. The challenges may be vast, but it’s an exciting journey that we can do together with our clients.

***This blog post was written jointly with Tim James, Clinical Strategist at Cerner and Paediatric Nurse***