Pediatric hospitalists care for many hospitalized children in community and academic settings, and they must partner with administrators, other inpatient care providers, and researchers to assure the reliable delivery of high-quality, safe, evidence-based, and cost-effective care within the complex inpatient setting. Paralleling the growth of the field of pediatric hospital medicine is the realization that innovations are needed to address some of the most common clinical questions. Some of the unique challenges facing pediatric hospitalists include the lack of evidence for treating common conditions, children with chronic complex conditions, compressed time frame for admissions, and the variety of settings in which hospitalists practice. Most pediatric hospitalists are engaged in some kind of quality improvement (QI) work as hospitals provide many opportunities for QI activity and innovation. There are multiple national efforts in the pediatric hospital medicine community to improve quality, including the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) collaboratives and the Value in Pediatrics Network (VIP). Pediatric hospitalists are also challenged by the differences between QI and QI research; understanding that while improving local care is important, to provide consistent quality care to children we must study single-center and multicenter QI efforts by designing, developing, and evaluating interventions in a rigorous manner, and examine how systems variations impact implementation. The Pediatric Research in Inpatient Setting (PRIS) network is a leader in QI research and has several ongoing projects. The Prioritization project and Pediatric Health Information System Plus (PHIS+) have used administrative data to study variations in care, and the IIPE-PRIS Accelerating Safe Sign-outs (I-PASS) study highlights the potential for innovative QI research methods to improve care and clinical training. We address the importance, current state, accomplishments, and challenges of QI and QI research in pediatric hospital medicine; define the role of the PRIS Network in QI research; describe an exemplary QI research project, the I-PASS Study; address challenges for funding, training and mentorship, and publication; and identify future directions for QI research in pediatric hospital medicine.
Keywords: hospital medicine; hospitalists; implementation; pediatric; quality improvement; research networks.
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