Innovation

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Areas of Focus

Boston Children’s comprehensive approach to pediatric innovation encompasses two critical, interrelated domains: clinical care and quality and safety. By pioneering new technologies, treatments and processes in both domains, Boston Children’s delivers life-changing advances and makes health care safer and more cost-effective.


Clinical Care


Clinical care is the essence of Boston Children’s. Our leadership is recognized locally, nationally and globally. U.S. News & World Report named Boston Children’s #1 in 8 of ten specialties in the 2014-15 guide to Best Children’s Hospitals, representing a higher ranking in more specialties than any other children’s hospital. 

Our researchers and clinicians are the global leaders in pediatric innovation and have produced countless clinical innovations from groundbreaking surgical techniques to developing lifesaving treatments to establishing new care delivery models. A small handful of our innovations include:

  • launching the world’s first pediatric hand transplant program. This research-based program will offer bi-lateral hand transplants for children without two functioning hands due to infections, accidents or congenital abnormalities.

  • developing a bio-inspired adhesive that could rapidly attach biodegradable patches inside a beating heart—in the exact place where congenital holes in the heart occur, such as with ventricular heart defects

  • sponsoring the first pediatric hackathon to accelerate innovations, including the 2013 winner— RightByte, a Web-based and mobile tool designed to host thousands of recipes for people with various food allergies—all vetted for safety and nutritional content

  • leading international gene therapy trials for multiple disorders, including severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome

  • creating programs, such as obesity prevention and sports injury prevention, that target long-term population health

  • deploying innovative care delivery models that streamline patient care and boost efficiency
    • Our TeleCAPE program, which targets home-ventilated patients, helps cut costs by reducing emergency visits.

Quality and Safety


At Boston Children’s, we are internationally recognized for developing life-changing clinical innovations. However, true leadership in health care requires a much broader commitment that encompasses quality and safety.

Our quest to ensure the delivery of safe, high-quality care to children across the globe has spurred multiple initiatives and partnerships and produced compelling results. These include:

  • Standardized Clinical Assessment and Management Plans (SCAMPs), started in our Cardiology Department, offer clinicians a tool set to collaborate in real-time to improve quality of care and lower costs. Clinicians submit treatment and outcomes data, so variations can be analyzed to provide better approaches.  Each SCAMP outlines a sound, standardized care pathway for a particular condition. SCAMPs have been developed for about 70 conditions, and the program has expanded to 20 organizations.

  • Our Center of Excellence for Pediatric Quality Measurement (CEPQM), one of seven Centers of Excellence funded through the national Pediatric Quality Measures Program, is collaborating with other organizations to develop critically needed pediatric quality measures. Mark Schuster, MD, PhD, CEPQM director, received the 2014 Douglas K. Richardson Award for Perinatal and Pediatric Healthcare Research from the Society for Pediatric Research.

  • Integrated Clinical Information Sharing System (ICISS Health), a Web-based online questionnaire system, changes the dialogue between parents and clinicians by providing a platform for true chronic disease monitoring and making office visits more informative and efficient. ICISS has been expanded from its initial application in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to autism, asthma, depression and epilepsy. 

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