Best wishes to all at Sickkids Hospital

We wish every child and family and staff at Sickkids the very best for the holidays and in 2009. The time can feel a bit surreal. Exhausted families appreciating every moment with their child. Staff working holidays, covering for colleagues taking a break. Single parents, partners, siblings, brave patients all trying to keep it together. Smiles and tears. Wonder about the future. Families in groups, napping on sofas and streaming quietly into rooms. An unusual quiet in the public spaces. It's a time of great generosity, hope and heightened feeling in an already emotionally saturated place. Three years ago on December 14 Sasha went for her second cardiac surgery, her eighth proceedure, and nothing went as we hoped. It was before chanuka so this picture above is our one and only. I will never forget the early morning sun bathing room 74 in light on new years day after two weeks. I shooed some nurses laughing because Sasha was light on the morphine, starting to awake and looking uncomfortable and I desperately wanted her to sleep and wake up stronger. Now three years later, Mia and Eve light chanuka candles and our little family is in a different place and yet Sickkids is never far from our thoughts. We wish you comfort and joy and look forward to helping in whatever small ways we can next year. Here is our little family now with Mia lighting Sasha's menorah and coincidentally wearing her bravery bead necklace.

Sickids Patient Survey Now Online recently added an online Quality and Risk Management survey to their homepage titled "How Are We Doing?". The survey begins with a personal letter from Sickkids President Mary Jo Haddad explaining the importance of your information, that it will be carefully reviewed to improve care, held in confidence and to answer any questions please contact the Patient Representative.

You rate 11 aspects of care such as Admission, Nursing Care, Medical Care, Family Centred Care, Information etc as either Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor or No Contact. You provide discharge date, child age, clinics or units visited, offer open comment on What Impressed You, What Disappointed You, How Can We Improve patient safety, Other Suggestions and finally optionally provide name and contact information (phone number is asked but not email address).

My immediate thought was yeah, I hope this remains a permanent website fixture. Probably to keep the number of questions down, elements are lumped together so with Medical Care for example you are asked to consider "Caring and concern shown by doctors, attention to your child’s (or your) condition, how easy it was to see doctors, teamwork among doctors" when individual doctors can vary on any one element. The four commment fields have the potential to generate rich data. I see it is not secured by SSL certificate but since you can send personal information it probably should be.

Good to see Sickkids!

CPS paediatric advance care planning

The September issue of The Journal of The Canadian Paediatric Society includes two important documents for families whose child has serious health challenges - click the HTML/Free button to read more on each.

CPS Statement - "Advance care planning for paediatric patients"

Information for Parents and Caregivers - "Planning care for children and youth with serious medical conditions".