- Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) launched the CHLA Health Network, a coalition that aims to improve access to coordinated pediatric healthcare across Southern California. The CHLA Health Network currently includes over 100 clinicians in 26 practices across the region.
CHLA Health Network affiliated providers will share a commitment to family- and patient-centered care, including a promise to ensure healthcare is accessible close to a pediatric patient’s home. The network aims to do this by affiliating pediatricians across the region, making it easier for patients to access seamless care.
The CHLA Health Network also wants to improve the patient experience by simplifying the process of accessing treatment for patients and their family caregivers.
Other network tenets include:
- Delivering high-quality health care for children
- Using research and innovation to inform care
- Providing access to one of the country’s foremost pediatric academic medical centers for specialty care
- Developing a premier community reputation and commitment to collaboration
CHLA President and CEO Paul S. Viviano first developed the network concept nine months ago, and since then has received network applications from more than 100 clinicians. As the CHLA Health Network continues to show promise, Viviano expects the network to grow in kind and ultimately benefit pediatric patients.
“As CHLA continues to deliver on its commitment to provide the very best care to every child, partnering with community pediatricians will result in primary care that is integrated with experts at one of the finest pediatric academic medical centers in the country,” Viviano said in a statement.
“This will give more children access to the full benefit of the 350 specialty programs and services that CHLA has designed for children and the comprehensive and devoted bench of pediatric researchers developing the treatments and cures of the future,” he continued.
Larry Harrison, CEO of the CHLA Medical Group, agreed.
“Together, we will become the indispensable, countywide delivery system for child health care with the common mission of improving outcomes for all children,” Harrison said.
Pediatric patients will be able to access care at CHLA’s specialty clinics, including the hospital’s main campus, and neonatal and pediatric hospital offerings at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, Providence Saint John’s Health Center, and Providence Tarzana Medical Center.
“By partnering with the CHLA Health Network, patients at our affiliate practices will have ready access to the specialty care, protocols, treatment modalities and leading-edge research offered by one of the top-ranked children’s hospitals in the nation,” said Neville Anderson, MD, a clinician at CHLA Health Network affiliate Larchmont Pediatrics.
A board of founding directors, including representatives from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Medical Group (CHLAMG) and CHLA, will guide the CHLA Health Network. The group is still accepting applications from more interested pediatricians.
Research has shown that pediatric patients face limited access to certain kinds of care. It is key that children have access to specialty care targeted directly for them because children have developing bodies and different needs from adults.
In late April, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that only 57 percent of children have easy access to pediatric-specific trauma care. This poses a problem for pediatric patients who might have specific needs.
“Children who have suffered a severe and potentially life-threatening physical injury as a result of an event such as a motor vehicle crash or a fall need specialized care because of their unique anatomical, physiological, and psychological characteristics,” GAO explained.
With pediatric trauma care being so limited, GAO concluded that many children will need to rely on care in adult settings. When accounting for all trauma centers – both pediatric and adult – 80 percent of children have easy care access.
The jury is hung as to whether adult trauma centers are adequate for pediatric care. GAO conducted interviews and a literature review, finding that testimonies were split between adult trauma care being fit or unfit for pediatric patients.
Ultimately, the country will need to see more pediatric healthcare networks like the CHLA Health Network join together to create easier access to healthcare for children. The network will make it easier for patients to coordinate care and access in-network care throughout the region by aligning multiple pediatric clinicians.