Wrapping Up at Children’s Hospital

by Allyssa Stevens

Background

Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (CH&MC) is a 145-bed nonprofit facility located in the heart of Omaha, NE. The first Children’s hospital was built in 1948 and set out with a mission to improve the life of every child, while never turning a child in need of medical care away due to an inability to pay. The hospital currently consists of 9 floors, which will expand and double in capacity in the next 2 years with the addition of the Hubbard Center for Children adding 9 additional floors and another 100+ beds. Connected to the hospital are the Children’s Specialty Clinics, which include 50+ outpatient specialty services. In order to address the need for primary care throughout the region, Children’s Physicians stood up 15 clinics creating the area’s largest practice of board-certified pediatricians, pediatric nurse practitioners, and pediatric physician assistants.

Cost of Education, Outreach, and CME Projects

Throughout my time at Children’s, I have worked extensively on projects focusing on the education offered to physicians, nurses, and allied health professionals. My main project has been developing a comprehensive costing model for education. This includes determining the value of a preceptor’s time, as well as the costs associated with having the learner at the hospital. The next component of the project looks at the value of offering continuing medical education opportunities to physicians, nurses, and other allied health professionals at the organization. This includes anything from accreditation fees to the costs of hiring the speakers and hosting the event. The final component looks at the rural outreach aspect of education at Children’s, which would include the costs to transport physicians and other health professionals to rural communities to train their hospitals on critical techniques to stabilize pediatric patients. This component of the project creates the opportunity for Children’s to build professional and clinical networks with rural providers to provide the highest level of patient care.

While the cost of education project only highlighted three components of education at Children’s, the goal was to create a model the organization and the Office of Education could use for a long time to come. The project itself required numerous hours of research and consultation to determine what the best costing model would be for the organization. This is a problem where many academic and stand-alone hospitals have struggled to assign a cost to education. A hybrid model was created to capture the nuances of offering graduate medical education, continuing medical education, and outreach. This model accounted for the time and resources used to teach students, administrative time associated with education, meals provided, event costs, house officer salaries, outreach costs, and accreditation requirements for staffing numbers. While the list of costs may not be exhaustive of all of the costs associated with education, it attempts to account for the necessary costs—tangible and intangible.

Because CH&MC is the only specialized pediatric hospital in Nebraska and in the surrounding region, it is crucial that the education programs remain in-tact. Children’s Hospital & Medical Center sees more than 2,600 unique learners a year, which requires the organization to have numerous academic affiliations. These affiliations permit Children’s to teach students from not only the surrounding region, but also across the country.

I am currently working on finalizing my main project and creating content to include in my MPHTC Final Report. This report will outline the work I have done throughout my time at Children’s and provide some valuable insight into the challenges and triumphs of being a freestanding pediatric hospital.

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