Masters Thesis

Best practices for California Children’s Hospitals in providing family support services

Serving a select niche of the population, Children’s hospitals take on obstacles that are unique to providing pediatric care. Children’s hospitals have the challenge of not only providing care for a child patient, but to ensure that the support staff for the child remain as central figures in the decision making and care planning. This paper focuses on the role family support services play in allowing the hospitals to ensure the viability and proximity of family members for patients. The list of top Children’s hospitals in 2015 (by Leapfroggroup.org) was studied to determine “best practices” in providing support services, as well as what services are provided most often. The purpose of this study is to apply the found “best practices” to California Children’s hospitals and perform a comparative analysis. It is the intention of this comparative analysis to aid California healthcare administrators in examining the current state of support services available and the impact implementation of new services may provide. Proper maintenance and provision of support services should abide by the standards put forth by the Institute of Medicine (IOM). Although the quality of support services abide by a set standard, a standard has not yet been determined identifying what services are considered “best practice” and will improve the goals of lowering health costs while maintaining high quality. Recommendations are provided for healthcare administrators on what considerations should be made to improve the role family support services play in improving health outcomes for patients at Children’s hospitals.

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