Medicine Critical Care Program Safety and Quality

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At the Medicine Critical Care Program (MCCP) at Boston Children’s Hospital, we make every effort possible to develop scientifically sound methods of evaluating the quality of care we provide to the children in our units.

Within the MCCP there exists a robust and multidisciplinary safety and quality program that is led by Dr. Elliot Melendez, meets monthly and has numerous safety and quality initiatives currently including:

THINK Program

During a typical evaluation, a physician assesses a patient’s symptoms and makes a list of possible diagnoses based on the information collected. The THINK Program is an innovative approach to educating residents on how to provide the most accurate diagnosis by avoiding cognitive errors during the evaluation process.

THINK is a diagnostic checklist that stands for: True probability; Hidden diagnoses; Infrequent offenders; Not miss diagnosis; Knowledge of the disease. With each of these steps, clinicians must ask themselves: “Am I thinking about this in the right way?” “Does the clinical story make sense?” “Am I missing something?”

THINK allows doctors to take a “time-out” from the analysis of a patient in order to check and reevaluate their primary diagnosis and to ensure that all members of the child’s medical team are on the same page.

“Good Catch” Program

The “Good Catch” Program exists in both the Intermediate Care Program (ICP) and the Medicine Intensive Care Unit (MICU).  This program is used to celebrate an instance where an employee was able to identify an error before it affected the treatment process.

PALS Certification

All the nurses in our units are certified in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).   The PALS program was created by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as a way to ensure that professional health care providers have the special skills and trainings needed in order to effectively treat the unique needs of children and infants who require critical care.

We provide monthly, two-day courses for certification in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), to ensure that we provide the highest level of emergency preparedness to our staff.


Simulation is an integral part of the MCCP at Boston Children’s. Twice a month in the ICP and twice a month in the MICU, members of our faculty perform a simulated emergency scenario. This ensures that our staff is continually trained every week on crisis resources and emergency response.

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The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO