This fall will mark the 6th year that the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) in Norfolk, VA has been a member of the ImproveCareNow (ICN) Network. Looking back, our involvement in ICN has been “game changing” for the Gastroenterology division in multiple ways. Not only has it improved the care we deliver to patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), it has changed how we approach everything.


When we started, we knew very little about Quality Improvement (QI) methods, but understood their importance. We quickly learned how to measure quality, eliminate unwanted variation in care and monitor our progress. It has been especially gratifying to see how enthusiastically the members of the division have embraced QI and ICN. In a few short years, we were able to change the culture so that everyone thought and acted with QI principles in mind.

I am anxious to talk about ICN to my IBD patients and families. Why would I not want to highlight our involvement in a Learning Healthcare System that seeks the active participation of patients and parents along with the healthcare team? The response has been tremendous and virtually 100% of our IBD population is registered in ICN. We talk about ICN at patient visits, group appointments and education sessions.  Gradually, we have built a vibrant, local IBD community. We are thrilled to have involvement of multiple parent and patient partners who volunteer time to visit patients while hospitalized or during infusion therapy. The positive impact only fuels their desire to do more.

Six years ago, I would never have imagined us doing the things we are today. Participating in ICN has paid huge dividends for CHKD and we anxiously anticipate what the future years will bring.


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