Virginia Children’s Care Network: Growing to support doctors and enhance care in the commonwealth
Improving the health and well-being of Virginia’s children – that’s what Virginia Children’s Care Network is designed to do. Since its launch in May, this clinically integrated network has made great strides in doing just that.
These improvements will take shape through quality improvement initiatives and increased provider participation, with the best interest of kids at the center of it all. To date, nearly 150 pediatric providers have joined VCCN, impacting 100,000 kids and counting across the commonwealth. One of the first members was Dr. Kimberly Phillips with Richmond Pediatric Associates, Inc.
“I chose to participate in the VCCN to improve the quality of care the patients in my practice receive. Working with other pediatricians in the Richmond area and pediatric specialists at CHoR, we are creating specific, evidence-based clinical metrics for community pediatricians to work towards and achieve,” said Dr. Phillips. “This is a great opportunity to make health care for the children in Richmond even better.”
Benefits of a clinically integrated network: A strategy to enrich care for kids
The benefit of a clinically integrated network is the ability for providers from both small and large practices to combine resources, maximizing quality and efficiency. VCCN aims to help lighten the load on community providers by providing access to support from a large health care system, while increasing quality across the board through the pooled knowledge and talent of all practices and members.
VCCN has recently implemented a quality improvement committee which, like its Board of Managers, is led by a majority of community physicians along with some CHoR subspecialists. This committee has been tasked with developing the network’s quality improvement strategy and priorities.
Initial quality initiatives will be centered on an identified need for standards of care around:
- Well-child visits
- Mental health
- Weight assessment and nutrition counseling
These focus areas will continue to expand over time based on evidence-based practices, and relevance to patients, clinicians and payers.
Bolstering VCCN members and families through a formidable pandemic
As the world met COVID-19 head-on, health care providers were faced with new and changing demands in terms of managing their practices and caring for patients. VCCN offered guidance and resources through a VCU business webinar series to provide customizable strategies for administrative challenges, and town halls covering the latest in coronavirus research and clinical care.
Educational information has also been provided for practices and patients throughout the pandemic addressing topics such as signs and symptoms of COVID-19, face mask recommendations, tips for expectant and breastfeeding parents and other frequently asked questions.
What’s on the horizon for VCCN and its members?
“There are multiple facets to providing quality health care for children and families that go beyond the great medical expertise that pediatricians in our community already have. As VCCN grows and we receive ongoing input from members, we’re prepared to expand and pivot our areas of support to best meet their needs. This will allow them to devote their valuable time and resources to what matters most – their patients,” said Emily Cochran, PhD, RN, executive director of VCCN.
In addition to fostering collaboration among physicians, VCCN is planning a practice manager advisory council and network innovation committee in the coming months.
The practice manager advisory council will be a non-physician-led forum for discussing administrative and business-related matters of importance to community practices. The network innovation committee will be another physician-led group focused on the development of new ideas to bring value to the physicians and practices participating in VCCN.
Together, the network can accomplish more than an individual practice can do on their own and, in the end, kids and families are the winners.
Have questions about VCCN?
Read VCCN FAQs, see a list of participating practices and more.