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Profiles of Change

Miami Children's Hospital

Miami Children's Hospital

Miami Children's Hospital (MCH), South Florida's only licensed specialty hospital exclusively for children, is an internationally recognized pediatric care facility serving children from Florida, the United States, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. This 289-bed facility—the largest freestanding pediatric teaching hospital in the southeastern United States—has served the region for more than 60 years. With a history of innovation and leadership, Miami Children's Hospital has become South Florida's preferred referral center for critically ill children and neonates.

  • Miami Children's is home to Florida's only freestanding pediatric trauma center.
  • The Congenital Heart Institute is the first pediatric cardiac intensive care unit in the southeastern United States. The Congenital Heart Institute's consistent 98 percent survival rate—among the best in the world—attracts children and their families from all over the globe.
  • The Miami Children's Brain Institute is a national leader in the care and treatment for children with brain anomalies.
  • The Cancer Center treats more children with hematology/oncology diagnoses than any other facility in South Florida.

A Mission to Provide Patient- and Family-Centered Care

The commitment of Miami Children's Hospital to family-centered care is reflected in its mission statement:

  • To provide excellent family-centered healthcare to children in an academic environment that meets or exceeds the expectations of those we serve and educate.
  • To collaborate with others in our community to improve the health status of children.

This commitment is embraced at every level of the organization. Families are included in all aspects of care decision-making and receive care in an environment that is supportive of the individual needs of each child and family member. MCH is devoted to advancing patient- and family-centered care by supporting families to remain by their child's bedside at any time to ensure consistent dialogue between family and staff.

Michael Fux Family Center

Michael Fux Family Center Michael Fux Center

The latest family-centered and friendly campus enhancement at Miami Children's Hospital is the Michael Fux Family Center. This beautiful and welcoming facility, which opened in October 2009, makes families feel more at home while their children are hospitalized.

Planned with input from hospital patients and their families, the Family Center was fast-tracked when philanthropist Michael Fux pledged to finance most of the project.

The center has it all, from basic comforts, such as showers and laundry facilities, to stress relievers including a small workout gym and massage room, and dazzling family entertainment facilities. There's even a movie theater! The Michael Fux Family Center also has a Library and Activity Room where patients and families can access a multitude of educational and entertainment sessions.

Voices for Children and Families

Family Advisory Council Family Advisory Council

Family Advisory Council

Miami Children's has established its Family Advisory Council (FAC) in 1998. The Family Advisory Council mission is to create a partnership between families and hospital staff to ensure sensitive, compassionate, and family inclusive services. The FAC accomplishes this by working on annual goals and working with leadership and staff to promote awareness of specific issues and making recommendations to the hospital.

As a result of FAC members' attendance at the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care's Hospitals Moving Forward with Patient- and Family-Centered Care seminar held in Miami in April 2006, the hospital leadership and FAC members continue to work on goal to increase the overall patient- and family-centered approach at MCH, so that we can keep MCH "moving forward."

Teen Council

Teen Council Teen Council

The Teen Council, made up of children currently or previously hospitalized at MCH and their siblings, is a channel for patients and their families to voice their opinions and to enhance the hospital experience for teens.

The FAC and Teen Council members have worked collaboratively with staff by:

  • Supporting development of community resource guides for all families coming to MCH;
  • Reviewing architect's plans and providing input into hospital redesign;
  • Actively participating in the design of the Michael Fux Family Center;
  • Developing the Guide to Patient/Family Services;
  • Participating in the Customer Service Excellence Program;
  • Developing and implementing a Parent Mentor System;
  • Participating in Miami Children's Hospital policy review; and
  • Participating on committees and initiatives to improve safety and education.

A Family Inclusive Place

Hospital waiting area Hospital waiting area

"It looks like a magical world." That's what many children say of Miami Children's newly redesigned interior and exterior. Playrooms are incorporated into most units. A large central indoor/covered outdoor playroom is equipped with stimulating play equipment for children of all ages. This is the site where celebrity visits, magic shows, theme parties, and other special events are held to enhance the stay of the children. Patient rooms incorporate chairs that convert to beds so that parents can stay with their child around-the-clock.

Training to Enhance Care

Training Top 125

Miami Children's Hospital (MCH) has been recognized among the very top tier of training facilities in the nation by Training magazine. The hospital was ranked third in the publication's annual Top 125 Training Organizations listing. Miami Children's has been included in the magazine's rankings every year since 2006, advancing steadily to its present top-five position. New patient care staff members, including nurses and residents, are required to participate in family-centered care training. Follow-up training is integrated, after the first six months on the job, to address questions and offer support.

Each hospital unit has created customized customer service programs. Role-playing scenarios help staff develop skills and awareness to meet family needs. Members of the Family Advisory Council have served as "secret shoppers" and reward positive, family-friendly behaviors. As seen in this video on Family-Centered Care Rounds, many units at Miami Children's promote family and patient participation in medical rounds to ensure that families are actively involved in daily care team discussions related to the child's treatment.

A patient- and family-centered care focus is built into the hospital's innovative Simulation Laboratory. The Sim Lab, equipped with high-tech child- and infant-size mannequins that mirror the medical responses of young patients, is used to train staff and families in routine care, emergency scenarios, and new medical techniques.

Send in the Clowns

Big Apple Circus Clown Care Big Apple Circus Clown Care

Since May 2000, the Big Apple Circus Clown Care (BAC-CC) program has brought laughter and joy to the bedsides of acutely and chronically ill children at Miami Children's Hospital. "Clown Doctors" are specially selected professional performers who are trained to work in the sensitive hospital environment. They make one-on-one bedside visits throughout the hospital, including the intensive care unit, bone marrow transplant center, emergency room, in-patient units, physical therapy unit, and outpatient center. Miami Children's five clown doctors use parody to help take the mystery out of, and simplify, complicated medical procedures by performing their own "highly technical" clown medicine routines, including red-nose transplants, kitty "cat" scans, chocolate milk transfusions, and plate spinning platelet tests.

Radio Lollipop®

Radio Lollipop Station Radio Lollipop Station

In August of 1996, Miami Children's became the first hospital in the United States to host Radio Lollipop, an interactive radio station program developed in England. At Radio Lollipop, a fully equipped in-house radio station, volunteers engage patients in child-focused, mentally stimulating recreational activities linked to radio programs. The patients themselves present many programs! Other volunteers are with children at their bedside playing games, reading books, singing songs, and otherwise encouraging them to participate in the radio broadcasts and win prizes.

Child Life Services

Child Life Specialists are assigned to each hospital floor and the Emergency Department. They offer stress-reducing and coping techniques and convey age-appropriate knowledge to families and children. Child Life Specialists work to maintain an environment within the hospital where children can be children, creating opportunities for play and interaction with other youngsters when appropriate.

Bringing Comfort and Companionship

Bringing Comfort and Companionship Bringing Comfort and Companionship

Miami Children's has developed numerous programs to enhance the hospital environment for families and patients alike. To help relieve stress, Miami Children's Comfort Crew offers massages to parents. Twice daily, a Hospitality Cart makes rounds offering complimentary fruit, pastries, and hot and cold beverages. Art Cart volunteers visit waiting areas for outpatients, keeping children busy and engaged in art projects and face painting. Volunteer Bedside Buddies visit hospital rooms with games, activities, and reading to help pass time for children whose parents are not able to be with them or who want a break from the bedside. In addition, Pet Therapy dogs visit hospital rooms on a regular basis.

Support Groups, Camps

Miami Children's Hospital offers a series of support and therapy groups for family and children with numerous conditions and needs, such as adolescent depression and anxiety, social anxiety, autism spectrum disorders, and adolescent trauma. In addition, the hospital sponsors medically-supervised summer camps for children with special needs and conditions. The camps cater to patients with rheumatology, diabetes, hematology, and children who require ventilator assistance. Also, the hospital offers Camp DMC (Dan Marino Center) that aims to provide a fun yet educational and therapeutic curriculum while enhancing each child's academic skills, functional communication, fine and gross motor skills, and social interactions. The camp is conducted by trained professionals, including certified teachers, behavior specialists, and education aides.

Recognition for Miami Children's Hospital and Emergency Department

Main Hospital Lobby Main Hospital Lobby

Miami Children's consistently receives high rankings for customer service from a variety of independent surveys:

  • In 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012-13, several Miami Children's Hospital (MCH) programs were ranked among the best in the nation in U.S.News & World Report's "America's Best Children's Hospitals" issue. Ten MCH programs were listed in the rankings.
  • In 2009, Miami Children's was the only Florida hospital in to be included in Parents magazine's ranking of "Best Children's Hospitals."
  • MCH has been annually honored by South Florida Parenting and its readers since 1997. In 2008, the hospital was recognized among the "Best of the Best Pediatric Hospitals." In addition, the MCH Dan Marino Outpatient Center was honored in the "Best of the Best Services for Special Needs" category.
  • MCH received "Magnet" designation—the nursing profession's highest institutional honor—from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in July 2003. Miami Children's Hospital was the first children's hospital in Florida and the fifth children's hospital nationwide to achieve this distinction. The hospital's Magnet status was renewed, following a site visit and evaluation in 2008.
  • MCH has been annually ranked among the nation's "Top Training Organizations" since 2006. Training magazine annually ranks organizations that excel at training based on factors including financial commitment, programs offered, methods of evaluation, workplace surveys, and HR data such as turnover and new employee referrals.
  • MCH is one of only a few centers nationwide to receive the "Excellence in Life Support Award" from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization, an international consortium of centers offering ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) for support of failing organ systems in infants, children, and adults. The Excellence in Life Support Award recognizes those centers that demonstrate an exceptional commitment to evidence-based processes and quality measures, staff training and continuing education, patient satisfaction, and ongoing clinical research.
  • The hospital features 289 pediatric and neonatal beds, more than any other children's hospital in Florida.
  • MCH offers more than 40 pediatric specialties and subspecialties.
  • The MCH Congenital Heart Institute is one of the leading programs in the nation based on volume and clinical outcomes. The program boasts a 98 percent survival rate, one of the best in the world.
  • The MCH Brain Institute is largest clinical neurology program in the nation, treating more than 45,000 children annually.
  • The hospital is home to the largest children's cancer center in the region.
  • MCH features South Florida's only free-standing pediatric trauma center.
  • MCH is the number one provider of pediatric orthopaedics in the state.
  • The hospital serves as the state-designated treatment center for children with craniofacial differences.
  • The Neonatology Division admits more than 600 newborns each year, with virtually all referred from general acute-care hospitals. The babies that are referred are in need of an advanced level of tertiary care that is provided at MCH.
  • MCH is home to the largest hospital-based pediatric residency program in the southeastern United States.
  • The Miami Children's Hospital Research Institute is one of the largest providers of pediatric clinical research in the region.
  • MCH is the region's lead organization for Safe Kids Worldwide, providing child safety education and prevention via the Division of Preventive Medicine.
  • MCH offers six outpatient centers to accommodate the increasing demand for pediatric outpatient services. These facilities are based in Doral, Miami Lakes, Palmetto Bay, Weston, West Kendall, and West Palm Beach. The hospital is committed to being "where the children are," enhancing community access to MCH-quality care and expertise.