Always looking beyond the horizon: Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford

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Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hosptial Stanford  is both a pediatrics and obstetrics hospital with approximately 320 beds that support around 15,000 annual admissions. It's also a quaternary care children's hospital, taking referrals from all over the world. The facility performs more solid organ transplants in children than any other hospital in the country, and it has a top-rated pediatric cardiac program. It goes without saying that the slightest disturbance in the organization's workflows can equate to tragedy.  

I spoke with Dr. Christopher A. Longhurst, Chief Medical Information Officer, Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital Stanford to learn more about the organization and its most recent healthcare IT accomplishments since publishing the first decrease in hospital-wide mortality with an electronic health record implementation.

(Editor's note: To hear audio excerpts of this interview, click on the media player buttons that run throughout this article.)

Free: Our industry tends to speak in very broad strokes when discussing healthcare IT. Could you comment on how has health information technology impacted pediatric care in particular?

Longhurst: I would say that unquestionably the net overall impact of health information technology over the last 10 to 15 years has been to improve quality and safety of healthcare for children. We have a number examples of how that has been the case here and there's also been peer-reviewed literature conclusively showing that in other places as well.

I think it's important to acknowledge that there's also unintended consequences of health information technology rollouts like electronic health records, and so we have to have our eyes wide open recognizing those unintended consequences and working to mitigate those. That being said, it's clear that the reason that those projects were undertaken was to improve quality and safety.

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