At their November meeting, the Quinte Health Board of Directors took a moment to honour a team that our hospitals are relying on heavily in this current climate. Respiratory illness is running rampant among children, resulting in hospital visits and admissions at far higher rates than normal for this time of year. Managing the paediatric illness we’ve been seeing in our Quinte Health hospitals has been a team effort, and leading the charge has been our Paediatrics team.
With an influx of children presenting to our emergency departments, and paediatric inpatient beds not always available as some days we’re at 200% capacity, the Paediatrics team has been supporting our emergency departments in providing paediatric care in the ED. For example, the team has helped to develop order sets that assist the EDs in providing bronchiolitis care to children. There has also been work done by various members of the Quinte Health team, including Professional Practice, Pharmacy and ED managers, to ensure that each ED has the right equipment and medication to care for paediatric patients within the EDs.
“There isn’t always space to bring kids into the Paediatric inpatient unit, so there has been lots of over-the-phone advice,” explained Dr. Kelly Vanier, Chief and Medical Director of Paediatrics. “I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said. “Everyone is going non-stop and it’s all hands on deck. Everyone has been really supportive – respiratory therapists have been helping, nurses have been staying late and coming in early, Infection Prevention and Control has been guiding us on co-horting paediatric patients – something we’ve never had to do before. There is so much collaboration,” said Dr. Vanier.
The Paediatrics leadership team has also been participating in daily Ontario Health Team surge planning meetings, and has been meeting regularly and collaboratively with regional Paediatrics partners with whom they share ideas and order sets, and work on problem solving together.
Jennifer Faulkner, Manager of the Quinte 7 Maternal Child Program, is proud of the Paediatrics team and the level of commitment they’ve shown during this time. She said, “The Paediatrics team has been incredible in responding to our very quickly changing environment. Much like the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, every day brings something new right now and the team has been incredibly adaptable to our changing environment. After two winters of low admission rates, they have mobilized quickly to care for very sick children well above our normal numbers and have supported each other along the way. I’m grateful for the team’s ability to work together to identify barriers and find solutions that will support the Paediatric population at Quinte Health.”
The Board of Directors acknowledged the remarkable efforts of the Paediatric team and everyone else who has supported the children receiving care at Quinte Health hospitals. “This team approach exemplifies Quinte Health’s values of ‘Stronger together’ and ‘We all make a difference’ and certainly encompasses our compassion value of ‘Imagine it’s you’,” said Peggy Payne, Board Member. “Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to help the children in our region who require hospital care.”
The Board of Directors presented a well-deserved Values in Action Award to the Paediatrics team for their extraordinary efforts.