All managers and clinicians of member paediatric services are welcome to participate in one or more of CHA's Special Interest Groups (SIGs). The SIGs are formed in response to interest from members and focus on particular projects or themes of common interest. Most are multidisciplinary focusing on a common theme like complex care or medication safety. Some are for individuals in defined roles, such as CEOs, medical or nursing executives, or ward managers.
The SIGs make it easy for peers across the children's health sector to connect with one another, ask questions of each other, provide advice and share resrouces. Participants drive the agenda for each meeting, give presentations or briefings about their own service and discuss common challenges & strategies for overcoming them. Inspiring innovations are regularly shared too.
SIG meetings generally occur via web conferences, and are supplemented by on-line discussion and annual face-to-face meetings. All SIGs are supported by the CHA team. To register your interest in participating in one or more of CHA's SIGs contact our Networking Coordinator.
The Allied Health Special Interest Group (SIG) is a multidisciplinary group of Allied Health Managers involved in paediatric care. The SIG covers a variety of topics, including:
- Engaging with parents & carers,
- Red flag issues,
- Identify appropriate pathway and trigger referrals
- Opportunity to provide Multi D “harm Free” clinical handouts
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This SIG enables the Chief Executives of the tertiary Children's Hospitals from across Australia and New Zealand to share information and expertise in relation to a wide range of issues relevant to their services, including:
- Enhancing the safety & quality of paediatric care
- Accrediation of paediatric services
- Maintaining an expert & diverse clinical workforce
- Design & management of development & redevelopment of buildings & facilities
- Performance & budgeting issues
- Design & implementation of Electronic Medical Records
Child & Adolescent Mental Health
This SIG acknowledges that there is a rising need for greater attention to mental health, particularly in children and adolescents. In recent times this SIG has been discussing:
- Advocacy to the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority with regards to the design of the new Australian Mental Health Care Classification (AMHCC).
- Services Profiles which examined different Models of Care
- Management of children & adolescents with Mental Health needs in the Emergency Department setting
- Reducing readmission rates through partnerships with community and other outpatient mental health services for children & adolescents
- Policies & practices related to safety & security for patients and staff in child & adolescent mental health inpatient units
Child and Family Centered Care
This SIG is focused on improving the involvement & engagement of children & their families in decision making, developing the paediatric patient journey & measuring Australasian improvement in the implementation of the CHA Child's Rights Charter. Recent topics of interest include:
- Sharing of video resources to alleviate anxiety in children, e.g. My Trip to Hospital Video by Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Queensland
- A successful Youth Health Symposium hosted by the Women's & Children's Health Network in South Australia
- A project on the role of the child in decision making about their care by the Starlight Children's Foundation
- The delivery of a child & family-friendly environment, such as Monash Children’s Hospital's imaging services.
Children's Hospitals Performance and Efficiency
CHA supports the Children's Hospitals to share data and management strategies with one another with the aim of improving the quality of care & reducing costs in an environment of budgetary pressure. Topics discussed in this SIG include:
- Results from quarterly Children’s Hospitals Performance & Efficiency KPIs
- Results from Inpatient, Emergency Department & Outpatient Activity & Costing benchmarking,
- Analysis of the whole patient journey, and opportunities to improve patient experience at reduced cost.
- Funding for home care ventilated children
- Reducing the Average Length of Stay of particular cohorts of patients , such as children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease through adoption of new models of care or outpatient support services.
This SIG was established in late 2015 and focuses on complex care on an individual, organizational and nationwide level. The CHA Complex Care SIG in 2017 has been extremely active, with web conferences focusing on:
- Care Coordination policies & practices at each of the Children's Hospitals
- Design & delivery of connected care programs to support children with complex needs living in regional or rural areas and their families
- Medication management issues and solutions
- Family Stories of Complex Care and Medication trials
Executive Directors of Medical Services
This SIG was established in late 2017 and will hold its first face to face meeting in 2018. It provides an opportunity for the most senior medical executive from each of the Children's hospitals to become acquainted with one another, to share common challenges & concerns, and to showcase things that are going well at their respective hospitals.
This is CHA’s longest running SIG having commenced in the early 2000s. It continues to actively promote paediatric focused medication safety initiatives across Australia and New Zealand. Some of the topics currently being discussed include:
- Manufacturer supplied oral dosing devices –EnFit Syringes - inconsistency in measurement metrics on syringes and increased risk of medication administration errors
- Medication Safety Alerts – How are these used and communicated effectively to staff
- EpiPen vs Vials for anaphylaxis – Risks, costs & solutions
- Lessons learnt for maintaining medication safety during a service move to a new building.
- Advising the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality on a national Paediatric Prescribing positon statement
NICU and Special Care Nurseries
This SIG was established in 2014 and brings together managers, doctors, nurses and midwives involved in the providing care to newborn babies. Topics currently being discussed include:
- Re-build of SCN & NICU facilities – planning, design (e.g. open plan vs single/double units) and move day strategies.
- Neonate Sepsis and the Neonatal Early Onset Sepsis Calculator (KEMH WA)
- Feeding intervention for babies >32 weeks gestation – cot positioning, pumps vs gravity feeds on the frequency of respiratory events
- Sucrose, Music Therapy and the combination of the two for pain relief for babies in NICU
This SIG brings togther educators involved in supporting nurses to remain confident and competent in the care of babies, children and young people. Current topics for discussion include:
- Frameworks for mapping and monitoring staff training
- Organisation & timing of education services in overly busy paediatric wards
- Cardiac Monitoring in children – best practice for magnesium sulfate ward based admission.
- Procedural sedation on the ward.
- Palliative care for children & their families
Paediatric Executives of Nursing
The Executives of Nursing SIG provides a forum in which nursing professional and workforce problems and issues are discussed. Topics covered include:
- Measures to improve governance and quality of paediatric patient care
- Refurb and re-development challenges and successes
- The provision of care to the critically unwell child - paediatric intensive care services & challenges
- Metrics to measure performance of the paediatric nursing workforce
- Child Health Acceleration Program which comprises mentorship, clinical rotations, and postgraduate study in Child Health Nursing
Paediatric Emergency Care
This SIG provides a forum to talk about challenges & opportunities for managing Paediatric Emergency Care in both specialist and mixed Emergency Departments. Topics currently being discussed include:
- Workforce Profiling, skillmix, & development, both medical and nursing.
- Successful strategies for optimising the flow of children through ED
- Paediatric Mental Health Emergency training - de-escalating the agitated and aggressive young person.
- Effectively engaging with parents & families in the ED enviornment
- Design of ED facilities to optimise experience & care for children & young people
- Insights from the CHA ED Activity and Costing ED dataset. What can we learn from one another
Paediatric Nursing Unit Managers
The Nurse Unit Managers SIG is a longstanding network that enables peaidatric NUMS to share knowledge & provide support to one another. Current topics of interest for the SIG participants include:
- policies & practicies for children and adolescent leaving the ward, e.g. criteria led discharge.
- Parents & carers staying overnight in the unit.
- Insights for learning from one another arising from CHA Benchmarking,
- The design & management of Paed Emergency Short Stay Units within an inpatient area
- Starlight Foundation – finding ways to ease the fear of hospital for children
- Enahncing coordination & flow of children between the ED and paediatric ward through building relationships between teams, e.g. rotation of Nursing Staff between ED and the Paediatric Ward
This SIG has been actively meeting for over 5 years and is a multidisciplinary group to enable networking between Directors of Paediatrics and Nurse Unit Managers of paediatric units in general hospitals. Topics currently of interest to this network include:
- Best practice care of children with Bronchiolitis, including the use of High-flow warm humidified oxygen vs. standard low-flow nasal cannula oxygen for moderate bronchiolitis
- The most effective ways to design & manage Short Stay Units and Paediatric Assessment Units to ensure timely & appropriate care for children & their families
- Workforce recruitment & retention strategies, both medical & nursing for paediatric care
- Benchmarking performance of similar paediatric units in terms of both inpatient and Emergency care
- Enhancing capacity to meet the needs of peaidatric patients with mental health issues
- Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Domestic Violence (DV) and strategies for recognising & responding to children in healthcare settings.
Paediatric Safety & Quality
This SIG brings together mangers & clinicans with responsibility & interest in enhancing the safety & quality of paediatric care across all levels of services. Areas of intest within the SIG include:
- International best practice in terms of minimisng harm to children receiving care in hospitals, e.g Intensive with Prof Stephen Muething from the US based Solutions for Patient Safety
- Advising the Australian Commission on Safety & Quality in Healthcare on the design of guidance for service managers and surveyors about meeting the NSQHS Standards in relation to the care of children
- Development and testing of a Companion to Safety & Quality in Paediatrics handbook, aimed at supporting local clinical teams to identify and address barriers to safe care of children in their local context.
- Sharing Lessons Learnt from SAC 1 and SAC 2 Investigations
- Determining the frequency and severity of adverse events on ward & lessons arising from such incidents.
Transition of Care
This SIG was established in 2016 for managers and clinicians involved in helping adolescent patients with ongoing healthcare needs to transition from paediatric to adult healthcare services. Topics currently being discussed within this SIG are:
- Painful Transition – Young people’s experiences of living with persistent pain
- Incorporating evaluation and data systematically
- Launchpad – Autism Spectrum Leaving school and leading your own life Website
- Use of technology to help facilitate Transition – Autism App development Project
- Facilitating establishing relationships for paediatric patients with relevant adult health specialists
Directors of Nursing - Paediatric Services
CHA's Directors of Nursing Special Interest Group brings together individuals in common roles across the paediatric sector, from large tertiary specialist paediatric hospitals through to regional and rural hospitals providing emergency and inpatient care to children. The Directors of Nursing Special Interest Group(SIG) provides a forum in which models of care, professional and workforce issues are discussed.
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