Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
Our goal is to make the hospital experience less stressful, traumatic or painful for children and families and improve the quality of care by equipping pediatric staff with knowledge about children’s development, needs and rights and helping them to apply Child and Family centered health care principles in every day practice. We are educating health care providers on children’s rights, to know to recognize the stress and anxiety at children and their parents caused by hospitalization, to reduce stress, how to prepare children for medical procedures, how to lead appropriate communication with children and parents, how to asses and manage pain (no pharmacologically). It means enabling play and learning in hospitals, providing medical play as a way to prepare children for procedures.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
The concepts of child and family-centered care was the first time introduced in Serbia in 2009 by the Suisse NGO Partnerships in Health and the Child Life Department of the Johns Hopkins Child Life Department together with the Serbian NGO Partnerstvo za zdravlje. The Ministry of Health of Serbia reviewed and approved “A Child- Centered Health Care Trainer Manual” (Schwethelm, Capello, Brylske, & Munn, 2010), the project and the approach. A Baseline survey was completed with 22 Serbian hospitals. A 5-day trainer course with 6 Serbian and 2 Macedonian hospital teams was conducted in May 2010. 100 staff and 60 last year nursing students have been trained in seven modules and received monitoring. Training at one of the two main pediatric centers in Belgrade begins in January 2012. Based on parent input, family information materials are being developed. The trainings have been received with enthusiasm, since they are gradually improving quality of care and provider/parent satisfaction.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Hospital management will institutionalize child-centered services through policies. Pediatric staff, including doctors, in ½ of Serbian hospitals will integrate child-centered principles into daily practice. New information materials will prepare children/parents for hospitalization and common medical procedures, and parents and patients will be involved as feasible in the planning of care. As a result, providers, parents, and patients will be more satisfied with the care. Nursing schools will include the course content into the nursing curriculum. Increasingly, child/family centered becomes the standard approach, with increased family satisfaction. Transfer to neighboring countries is occurring. A network of child-centered practitioners and facilities shares materials and best practices.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Potential barriers are lack of awareness, interest, and motivation of health care providers to participate in trainings and change their attitudes and interactions with children and families during hospitalization. However, the approach can be self-motivating as it makes treating children easier and less distressing. Other benefits include reduced length of hospitalization due to fewer complications and faster recovery, less use of pain medications, and increased satisfaction of pediatric patients, families, and hospital staff. It helps Serbia to be more in-line with quality of care approaches in Western Europe and guidance outlined by the Council of Europe . Also good media promotion can empower parents to request treatment in hospital be in line with child and family-centered care.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Expand to include the two biggest pediatric hospitals and develop parent information materials
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Increase public/professional awareness & participation of Serbian hospitals/nursing schools/ professional associations