Pediatric Heart Outreach Program

As part of its support for improving care for pediatric cardiology patients in New England, the David Ortiz Children’s Fund supports the Echocardiography Quality Improvement Project (EchoQIP), a program designed to reduce diagnostic errors among infants and children across multiple pediatric heart centers throughout New England.

Why this program?

Pediatric heart surgery has led to significant reductions in deaths caused by congenital heart disease, however, rapid surgical or medical treatment requires accurate diagnosis of the heart defect. Diagnostic errors or failure to diagnose heart disease places infants and children at risk for permanent injury and death. Diagnostic errors are responsible for a large percentage of hospital complications, cause greater patient harm than medication errors and are a leading cause of permanent organ damage. Diagnostic errors are frequently caused by incomplete or incorrect cardiac imaging by echocardiography. Training and following standard procedures have significant positive impact on error rates.

Thus after the coaching/training component, EchoQIP then measures improvement and diagnostic accuracy and imaging quality of pediatric echocardiograms. In total, this program has provided 12 New England hospitals with training, thereby helping to positively impact between 2,000 and 3,000 pediatric lives.