Figure 4 • Underwater theme in waiting area.
Over a six month period, Children’s
achieved measureable results:
• The hospital reduced the CT radia-
tion dose administered to the lowest
• The biggest areas of impact were noted
in chest CTs for patients 0– 12 months
and 11 years and older, and abdomen-pelvis CTs for patients 5–10 years.
• 100% of the hospital’s CT techs completed the American College of Radiology CT certification exam.
• Children’s sustained the results of the
quality improvement project through
heightened internal awareness.
The value of the Putting Patients First
grant in jumpstarting this process was
significant. It provided a visual exclama-
tion point—a catalyst for change first in
appearance, then in process. Staff also
tracked a performance improvement
project designed to reduce radiation
dose. They first established consistent
results from directing patients’ attention
to the colorful images in the room and
then moved to the next stage–improving
protocols and lowering radiation dose.
As radiologists and imaging tech-
nologists worked behind-the-scenes to
maximize patient safety and the delivery
of quality and cost effective care, fami-
lies were experiencing the child friendly,
age appropriate atmosphere as soon as
they checked in. The decals gave patient
families an unexpected moment of dis-
covery. They quickly saw that Children’s
was dedicated to children and that it’s a
safe place for them and the best place for
them to receive care.
In the months following the under-
water transformation, patient satisfac-
tion scores for the hospital’s radiology
services improved dramatically from
75% to 90%.
The Putting Patients First grant com-
plemented Children’s pediatric expertise
by creating an atmosphere even more
appropriate for children and families. In
a day and age when healthcare budgets
are often earmarked for device upgrades,
facility renovations, and other elements
directly related to daily patient care
needs, this grant gave Children’s Radi-
ology Center an opportunity to employ
therapeutic visualization for both chil-
dren and their families. Children’s views
this as a significant enhancement to cut-
ting edge imaging capabilities and an
unsurpassed commitment to the young
patients it serves.
Nicole Hardin, MS, RT(R)(M)(CIIP) is the radiology
manager at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in
Omaha, NE. She received her master’s in health
services management from Clarkson College. Nicole
can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.