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News from the Chief of Staff for Physicians   April 2007

Dear Colleagues,

Mary Lu AngelilliWelcome to the year’s first issue of Just for Docs (JFD). This issue features some recent successes as well as new opportunities that lie ahead at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

• Patients and families now receive high-tech care at Children’s Hospital, thanks to the implementation of the Electronic Medical Records (EMR), which was successfully launched in December. Leland Babtich, M.D., was one of the EMR site leads responsible for implementing the technology. Learn more from him about EMR’s benefit to patients and families in this issue.

• Child magazine announced the highly anticipated results of its 4th exclusive survey to identify the top children’s hospitals in the country. The Children’s Hospital of Michigan is among the top 40 hospitals that were recognized by the magazine, placing it among America’s best providers of pediatric health care. Children’s Hospital ranked 27th among 116 children’s hospitals who qualified for the survey.

• One of the most exciting changes at Children’s Hospital is the opening of the brand new Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit. Read about how the new transplant unit is impacting the treatment of hematology and oncology patients at Children’s Hospital of Michigan on page 2.

• We’ve implemented two new sections in JFD that we hope you’ll enjoy. Events and Happenings features lectures and other learning opportunities and Names and Faces features photos from key events. Also, you may obtain upcoming calendar events via e-mail by contacting Gwen White at gwwhite@med.wayne.edu.

Thank you for completing and returning the Physician Satisfaction Survey. I urge you to submit one if you have not had the opportunity to do so. I am very interested in receiving your input to better ensure that we continue to improve services provided to physicians.

Finally, please continue to share your comments and ideas with me at my new e-mail electronic comment box, tell-mla@dmc.org

Together let’s make the most of the year ahead.

Mary Lu Angelilli, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Chief of Staff


Hot Topic: Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit at CHM

Children’s Hospital of Michigan (CHM) recently opened a brand new pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit that provides specialized transplant services to adolescents and children who require hematopoietic stem cell and bone marrow transplants.

The new BMT unit enhances pediatric hematology and oncology services at Children’s Hospital, offers greater convenience to patients and families and a holistic approach to care. Now, a specialized team of experts that includes medical and professional staff, work in tandem to provide physical therapy, pharmacy and nutrition services and more. From daily rounds to follow-up treatment, physicians at the new BMT unit provide improved pediatric care in a new
state-of-the-art facility.

“We pride ourselves in addressing the needs of patients and their families,” says Roland Chu, M.D., Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of  Michigan, assistant professor of pediatrics, Wayne State  University, and medical director, J.P. McCarthy Cord Blood Bank. “The new BMT unit allows patients to receive specialized care in a location of which many of them are already familiar. More importantly, patients will no longer need to be transported to separate facilities for additional BMT care,” says Dr. Chu.

The new BMT unit has four inpatient beds with capacity to provide care for up to 40 new transplants per year. Sureyya Savasan, M.D., Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and associate professor of pediatrics, Wayne State University, is looking forward to the transformation for a variety of reasons. “The BMT unit will be used to effectively treat a multitude of childhood diseases and rare childhood disorders. It will also increase opportunities for staff to conduct immunotherapy research in childhood cancers, such as neuroblastoma and leukemia, to better understand the immunologic mechanisms that result in graft-versus-tumor effect,” says Dr. Savasan.

To refer patients to the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit, contact Rhonda McDougall, the Hematology/Oncology transplant coordinator, at (313) 745-7509.

Physician Profile: Leland A. Babitch. M.D., M.B.A.

How did you become involved in implementing and developing the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) program at Children’s Hospital of Michigan?

While serving as chief compliance officer for University Pediatricians more than three years ago, I was asked to represent Children’s Hospital of Michigan on the physician advisory group for its Clinical Information System (CIS). While serving on the advisory group, I was introduced to the Electronic Medical Records technology, which at that time was being developed for all DMC hospitals.

How important is the implementation of EMR at CHM?

EMR is extremely important, particularly as it relates to patient safety. EMR improves efficiencies by computerizing physician and pharmacy orders and nursing documentation. As a result, it minimizes order errors and improves overall outcomes.

Now that EMR has been implemented, how is it being received by physicians and staff?

Unlike previous hospitals that have launched EMR technology one unit or one floor at a time, Children’s (and the other DMC hospitals) launched EMR throughout the entire hospital in one day. In order to successfully launch the technology across the hospital, we conducted months of staff training prior to the actual go-live date. From the start, staff were eager to learn the technology and recognized early on how it would enhance the care they provide to patients and families. Physicians also see the benefits
of EMR.

Are there plans to train new physicians and staff on EMR?

We want all of our direct care staff trained on this technology so they are all on the same page and patients receive the same level of care no matter the illness or injury. We are very supportive of physicians who want to use this product. For example, one physician requested EMR training shortly following his back surgery. To facilitate his request, we arranged for a trainer to go to his home to conduct the training. We will continue to make every effort to assist our physicians in their training needs, even if we must take the training on the road to their home or office.Training will be available to new attending physicians who seek staff privileges and new physicians who come into the system at Children’s Hospital. Physicians may contact me directly at lbabitch@dmc.org.

What other plans are on the horizon for EMR at Children’s Hospital of Michigan?

The days of using paper charts to track patient progress are quickly coming to an end. Following the EMR launch at Children’s Hospital in December, we implemented outpatient electronic records technology in the ambulatory general pediatric clinic. Once outpatient electronic records technology is fully implemented at Children’s Hospital, it will place us in the top 0.1 percent of all hospitals or hospital systems around the country using the technology.

How will EMR impact referring physicians?

We have plans to expand the EMR product currently used at Children’s Hospital and other DMC hospitals, and offer a DMC-sanctioned and supported electronic medical record system to referring physicians in the area. So if our referring doctors have been thinking about implementing the technology in their practices, they may want to hold off. EMR will also enhance our communication with community physicians by providing them with new ways to view patient information in real time. In the coming months the technology will available for use by physicians to develop documentation for inpatients on-line.

We are ahead of the curve since we’ve implemented EMR at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. No other hospital in the area has implemented the technology to the extent that we have. St. John, the University of Michigan, Oakwood and Beaumont may have implemented EMR, but none have fully integrated the technology into all aspects of patient care. Referring physicians can feel confident that their patients are not only getting the best in pediatric care, the way that we deliver that care is cutting edge.

Leland A. Babitch, M.D., M.B.A., Leland A. Babitch
Medical Director for Ambulatory and Information Services, Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Vice Chair for Ambulatory Services, Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital of Michigan
Assistant Professor, Department of
Pediatrics, Division of Ambulatory Pediatrics, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan

Master’s of Business Administration,
Broad School of Management, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

Washington University and St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri


Private Practice Profile: Thurza A. Wright Pediatric Center

Gerard M. Mosby, M.D., Ruth A. Watts, M.D., Nancy A. Treece, M.D.,
Christy A. Petroff, M.D. 
The Thurza A. Wright Pediatric Center was established in 1990 by former Children’s Hospital of Michigan physician, Thurza A. Wright, M.D. The clinic was originally located in an unused area of patient rooms on the third floor of Detroit Riverview Hospital. Its first patients were referred by the hospital’s physicians, who provided care to newborns. The practice quickly grew and within six months, outgrew its space and moved to its current location on Detroit’s east side. The pediatric center is one of only three pediatric practices in the city providing service to approximately 6,000 patients.

Why did you go into private practice?

Dr. Mosby: I was drawn to this practice because I believed in Dr. Wright’s commitment to the inner city and wanted to contribute.

Dr. Watts: We provide care primarily to African-American patients. I knew they needed to see physicians who they could talk to, who looked like them — someone they could relate to. I wanted patients to feel like they had somewhere they could go for care.

Dr. Petroff: I was born in Detroit and have lived in the area all
of my life. I have always wanted to work in a community
urban practice.

What do you like about private practice?

Dr. Mosby: There is great camaraderie among the physicians in this practice. We are all here because we want to be with our patients. Also, I’ve seen more pathology here than as a resident. Watching cases evolve and making a diagnosis are both challenging and interesting.

Dr. Petroff: I have many patients who I have seen since they were newborns, so I am able to form long-term relationships with them, and their parents trust me. This is what really motivates me. We are a very busy practice and it may take a lot of effort for our patients to see us, yet they are very patient.

Many of the people in this community need to see a doctor and we strive to treat all of them and not short change anyone, no matter how much time it takes.

What’s the biggest challenge in private practice?

Dr. Petroff: Our patient volume is high and many patients have complicated medical problems. They often have a difficult time getting back to us for follow-up care which sometimes leads to missed appointments and scheduling issues. We won’t turn people away for these problems, we try to make ourselves available, work a little harder or longer to accommodate them.

Dr. Treece: Additionally, because of socioeconomic challenges some of our patients wait longer than they should to come to us for care. Some are not compliant with their medications, so they are often sicker when they get here.

Why do you refer patients to Children’s Hospital of Michigan?

Dr. Watts: It gives us confidence knowing that Children’s Hospital has everything a physician needs to care for pediatric patients. You don’t have to worry if the person at the hospital caring for your patient knows about children.

Dr. Treece: Children’s Hospital just doesn’t see one child every now and then; they are pediatric sub-specialists. Also, we have a comfort level with them because we have either trained there or admitted patients there for years.