Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis program recognized for quality improvement initiatives

The Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Program at the Bernard & Millie Duker Children’s Hospital has been awarded a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Quality Care Award. The award recognizes the team for quality improvement projects over the course of 2021-2022.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says the Quality Care Awards recognizes Foundation-accredited care centers that demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of care they provide to people with cystic fibrosis (CF).

Only nine programs were given the award, out of more than 130 care centers across the country.

“We are very honored to be recognized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” said Robert Kaslovksy, MD, pediatric pulmonology division chief and co-director of the Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Program along with Kate Elizabeth Powers, DO.

Two of the quality improvement initiatives that were noted are tracking and counseling pediatric patients with CF toward better nutrition to help improve their body-mass index, because gaining and maintaining weight can be challenging for some people with CF, and developing an in-clinic protocol to help increase the number of patients over the age of 10 who undergo annual oral glucose tolerance testing. Previously, testing rates administered at other clinics were low.

The CF care team continues to conduct quality improvement initiatives, including improving Vitamin D testing and cystic fibrosis liver disease screening as well as optimizing patient experience and clinic flow. The CF care team was selected to participate in a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Virtual Improvement Program, where they will continue their quality improvement initiatives with coaching from The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

“Quality improvement initiatives are an essential component of our focus on patient-and family-centered care. We actively partner with patients and families in designing and implementing these projects. We have also developed a care center team, The Albany Medical Center Airway All-Stars, to highlight participation within the local Cystic Fibrosis Foundation,” said Dr. Powers, who also directs the Pediatric Therapeutic Development Center.

The pediatric pulmonology division and CF care team continue to partner with the CF local community to raise CF awareness, for instance by participating in the Great Strides walks throughout New York and the CF Climb at the Corning Tower in Albany.