The Sweet Sound of Collaboration
Danielle Laraque, MD, FAAP
Chair, Department of Pediatrics
Vice-President, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital of Brooklyn
The Department of Pediatrics and members of the Maimonides Infants & Children’s Hospital of Brooklyn had the pleasure of joining the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology in their biennial retreat alongside the Department of Anesthesia. The collaborative spirit was evident from the start. Members of each of the departments greeted each other and introduced themselves. The setting was conducive to reflection and collaboration. The Tarrytown House in Westchester is a large estate with rolling hills, flowers, outdoor and indoor pool and wonderful food. But while the setting did much to calm the soul it was the leadership and camaraderie that really set the tone for the important discussion of the theme issue, the Patient Experience. Pre-planning for the meeting had included pre-work with clinicians and administrators commenting on their perception of their role in the patient experience, their access to information, data, and support, identification of barriers and the strengths of the organization and their divisional initiatives. The renowned facilitator, Carrie Brady, JD, MA led the group through extensive discussions of the data on the value of seeing it from the patient perspective, the contrast between the ideal and the real experience, innovations in the patient experience arena as well as overcoming barriers and the use of always events.
The best part was Day 2 when the colleagues from the three departments broke out into six working groups. The three most relevant groups to Pediatrics were: Promoting a Baby-Friendly Hospital, Enhancing the Mother-Baby Experience after Delivery, and Focusing on the Patient and Family Experience on the GYN service. At these breakout groups we were able to share the details of the services available in each of the three departments. For example, in the Gynecology breakout group, Pediatrics shared information on the unique services for pediatric gynecology and sexual abuse evaluations – and Gynecology and Anesthesia concurred that a coordinated team approach to the pre-pubescent child was needed to render excellent, developmentally appropriate care for this vulnerable population. Planning for possible grand rounds across the departments ensued and best of all was the beginning of friendships with good colleagues.
At this time next year Pediatrics plans to have its biennial retreat. We will revive our commitment to collegiality and the work of delivering the best of care to our children, families and communities.