Acuity Adaptable Pediatric Model Elevates Patient Satisfaction, Convenience and Better Clinical Outcomes

November 16, 2022

The Acuity Adaptable Inpatient Pediatric Cardiac Care model, co-directed by Amy S. Lay, MD, started when Lurie Children’s moved to their new location downtown Chicago in 2012. This model is used in the Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit (CCU) on the 22nd floor of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Expanding from a 36-bed unit, moving floors to accommodate eight more beds due to the growth of their Cardiac Care Unit. This state-of-the-art 44-bed unit is devoted to the care of patients of all ages with congenital cardiac disease. It is one of the few cardiac units of its kind in the nation and the only one in Illinois.

The model is centered on the practice of having the patient remain in the same unit, receiving care from the same highly-skilled nursing team, developmental therapists, dieticians and respiratory therapists from admission to discharge. The provider team will change as the acuity of the patient changes, with continuity of care provided between the teams housed on the same floor. This is vital for patients who have a lengthy hospital stay, including those who may need to move to the heart transplant list.

The success of this program really relies on the entire multidisciplinary team from the highly skilled and trained nursing staff to the expert leadership of Kiona Allen, MD, Medical Director, Regenstein Cardiac Care Unit and Genevieve Frey, RN, Director of the CCU and Pediatric ECMO.

The program received national attention after its first presentation at the PCICS meeting in December 2020 and most recently at the 25th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease in September. Patient and family satisfaction is high with such a unit. Many families appreciate the elimination of room displacement and changes in the nursing team, valuing the continuity. An additional major benefit is the ability to act quickly to rescue a patient, if needed, in the same space surrounded by the same high-tech and experienced medical professionals.  

Patients and their families begin to benefit from this program even before the child is born. Our fetal families from our Chicago Institute for Fetal Health are provided with a tour to see the space and meet the team that will ultimately care for the newborn from birth to discharge.