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Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU launches area’s first pediatric clinically integrated network

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Virginia Children’s Care Network, a new clinically integrated network supported by Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and led by pediatricians in the community, is up and running.

The goal of the pediatric-focused initiative is to improve the health and well-being of all of Virginia’s children.

A CIN is a mechanism for providers from both small and large medical practices to join together, combining resources in primary and subspecialty care to maximize quality and efficiency. CINs also support the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s quadruple aim to improve the patient experience, advance population health, enhance provider well-being and reduce health care costs.

“At CHoR, we’re committed not only to the kids and families who come through our doors, but to engaging our community to enrich the health and lives of all children,” said Elias Neujahr, chief executive officer of CHoR. “Clinically integrated networks are a hallmark of leading children’s hospitals throughout the country. We are honored to be among this group, fostering collaboration and advocacy among the dedicated providers in our region, and making sure kids come first.”

The mission of VCCN is to better the health of children in the Commonwealth by improving access to medical services, coordinating care, enhancing communication and professional satisfaction, and expanding opportunities for quality, safety, research and education.

Benefits to network members

Through this network, members can:

  • Identify, adopt and monitor clinical protocols
  • Access support with data collection on efforts like immunizations through shared technology platforms and tools
  • Receive assistance with MOC Part IV, a quality improvement process required by The American Board of Pediatrics
  • Collaborate to achieve expedited scheduling and communication within the network
  • Better collaborate with colleagues throughout the community

Benefits to patients

Benefits to patients and families include:

  • Improved care based on extensive professional collaboration and established clinical protocols — conveniently delivered at the local level by familiar providers
  • Shared IT infrastructure within the network, which can provide better tracking of health issues and medications between primary care providers and specialists, improved notice for preventive care needs, and reduced time spent providing repetitive medical histories

All of these benefits will be accompanied by overall reduced costs.

“The CIN will be key to bringing community practices and CHoR into a long-lasting and symbiotic relationship. The structure and culture of the CIN is one that is focusing on mutual success, and kids and pediatricians from all over central Virginia will be the winners,” said Liv Schneider, M.D., a pediatrician with The Pediatric Center.

VCCN is overseen by a board of managers, with a majority being community physicians. The board is supported by committees and guided on business-related matters by a practice manager advisory council. VCCN participants must hold a valid and unrestricted professional license to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia as a physician or advanced practice provider, maintain malpractice insurance, practice in general or subspecialty pediatrics and agree to remain actively engaged in the network’s quality improvement initiatives.

“We carefully built the framework of this collaborative effort over an 18-month period with critical input from our community pediatrician colleagues, modeling it after other successful CINs in major academic children’s hospitals,” said Keith Derco, M.D., director of physician community relations at CHoR. “We listened to what served their practices and patients best to maximally support their valuable work in our community. In this challenging time of COVID -19, the importance of working with shared goals is even further magnified.”

augusta free press
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