On Feb. 1, 2012, pediatric services at Bridgeport Hospital were integrated with those at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital (YNHCH), creating a second YNHCH campus in Bridgeport and enhancing the high-quality care it already provides. Harris Jacobs, MD, chair, Department of Pediatrics, discusses the results of that integration.
Q. What are some of the significant volume increases since the integration?
Jacobs: During fiscal year 2013, volume for our pediatric services increased 30 percent and our neonatal volume increased 20 percent. This growth is largely the result of the closer collaboration between the two hospitals and the increased availability to our patients of pediatric subspecialties in New Haven. It all aligns with our philosophy of patient- and family-centered care, which is grounded in our belief that the best care is based on partnerships among patients, families and providers.
Pediatrics at the Bridgeport campus is now the doorway to the entire Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. This doorway allows pediatricians in the Bridgeport area to access all the specialties at YNHCH simply by sending a patient to the Bridgeport campus. - Harris Jacobs, MD, chair, Department of Pediatrics
Q. How has the integration benefited pediatricians?
Jacobs: Pediatrics at the Bridgeport campus is now the doorway to the entire Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. This doorway allows pediatricians in the Bridgeport area to access all the specialties at YNHCH simply by sending a patient to the Bridgeport campus.
Q. How has the integration impacted the pediatric staff at the hospital?
Jacobs: It’s enabled the staff both in Bridgeport and New Haven to collaborate with a larger patient base and group of physicians, and share what they’ve learned. This collaboration enables both hospitals to:
- Better appreciate the capabilities each possesses
- Share best practices
- Expand their horizons as to what can be accomplished together
- Create a more seamless relationship between staffs at each campus
From left, Dr. Jacobs with Julie Brown, RNC, BSN, associate director of nursing, Pediatrics, Bridgeport, and Marcelle Applewhaite, RN, MSN, patient service manager, Pediatric Respiratory Care Unit/Neurosciences and Pediatric Short-stay Unit, Yale-New Haven Hospital, who oversaw the YNHCH-Bridgeport integration.
Q. How has the integration benefited patients and their families?
Jacobs: We continue to make changes in our practices that enhance patient care and outcomes. The integration allows us to share what we learn more quickly, thereby providing higherquality care to our patients at both campuses. Furthermore, we can model appropriate infant care to a larger group of patients.
An example is our “Back to Sleep” program.” This is a national program designed to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The program places children to sleep on their backs and eliminates items like blankets and stuffed animals from the crib. We are modeling this behavior in infants in the appropriate age range admitted to both campuses.
Q. What are some of the programs and services offered by YNHCH that benefit Bridgeport Hospital providers and their patients?
Jacobs:We’re increasing access for our patients’ families to a broader range of subspecialists. The goal is to enable them to consult on patients in our service area. This would include subspecialties such as gastroenterology and pediatric surgery.
Patients who give birth prematurely and require surgery also have access to the surgical staff in New Haven, which provides the highest level of care. Another advantage is the ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) program in New Haven, the only one in Connecticut and one of just three Extracorporeal Life Support Organization-registered programs in New England.
In short, we provide advanced total care for our infants. And with Epic, our patients benefit from provider access to a single electronic medical record, regardless of where they receive care in our health system.
Q. What developments are on the horizon?
Jacobs: The most exciting one is a new pediatric subspecialty center at 5520 Park Avenue, Trumbull, which will open in spring 2014. This will include pediatric cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology and hematology.
Although we provide these subspecialties at Bridgeport Hospital, the Trumbull facility will make access to these services even more convenient.