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news News Monday, August 19, 2019 Monday, August 19, 2019 1:48 PM - Monday, August 19, 2019 1:48 PM

What to look for in a children's hospital

What to look for in a children's hospital

You want the best care providers for your child, but have you thought about what you want out of a hospital?

Health care systems can be difficult to navigate for anyone, but when it’s your child receiving the medical care, it can become even more complicated. You want to make sure your child is receiving the best medical care possible, and that you feel comfortable with all medical decisions regarding your child’s health.

1. Look for a family-centered care approach.

When your child is receiving medical treatment, the experience does not just affect the child, but the entire family – especially if your child has a condition requiring continuous care. A children’s hospital should help you look at how your child’s medical condition will affect the whole family, and then offer guidance and solutions on how the family can make necessary adjustments.

2. Take the time to find the right specialist for your child.

Pediatricians are integral to pediatric care. At Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons take care of musculoskeletal systems of patients from birth to age 18. Kathryn Fuchs, M.D., pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at the Portland Shriners Hospital, explains the benefits of pediatric care. “Children are not just little adults. They have unique anatomy and can have problems that can include issues with growth plates of bone, issues of deformity (such as the spine), that will progress along with growth. Children are also more vulnerable to certain sports injuries or fractures because they are growing.”

3. Ensure you have access to the latest in technology.

As advancements are made in medicine, it is important to make sure your child has access to the most innovative and effective technology available. From the utilization of 3-D motion analysis and muscle timing information, to our CAD CAM, a cutting-edge technology that dramatically decreases the time spent creating prosthetic and orthotic devices, the Portland Shriners Hospital stays at the forefront of new technology. In addition, the Portland Shriners Hospital is one of only three hospitals on the West Coast with EOS 2D/3D imaging technology, which captures whole-body images using only 1/9 of the radiation of a traditional X-ray. In addition to the EOS imaging system, the Portland Shriners Hospital was recently gifted an O-arm, which is an intraoperative imaging system that, when used in a surgery setting, will provide surgeons a 3-dimensional view of the spine on an accompanying monitor to increase the accuracy of hardware insertion. The O-arm also provides high image quality, is easy to handle and can help decrease the time the patient needs to spend in surgery because of its efficiency.

4. Prioritize an experienced surgery team.

It is important to be familiar with your operating room (OR) team before your child undergoes surgery. While the expertise and credentials of the surgeon are certainly important, the surgeon is in a room full of other professionals that play important roles as well. The OR team is composed of surgeons, registered nurses, surgical assistants, surgical technicians and anesthesiologists, all playing different and important roles. A good OR team will have worked together for a few years. Add this inquiry to the list of questions you ask your surgeon: “Tell me about the OR team.”

5. Take advantage of comprehensive care.

Comprehensive care addresses every aspect of a patient’s needs. This wrap-around care may include surgical services, occupational therapy, custom-made orthotics and recreational therapy. Comprehensive care focuses not only on the physical aspects of a condition, but functions to address psychosocial needs as well.

6. Find a dedicated space for kids to be kids.

A children’s hospital should be designed with activity space for kids in mind. Sometimes your child just needs to get out of the hospital room and be in a space that doesn’t feel clinical. This space can be great for the whole family to unwind and play.

Learn more about the patient programs and hospital experience at Shriners Hospitals for Children — Portland.