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BC Children's receives international recognition for excellence in pain care

​BC Children's Hospital, in partnership the BC Women's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, is now a ChildKind certified hospital. The international designation recognizes our hospital for excellence in providing pediatric pain care.
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As one of only three children's hospitals in Canada to achieve this designation, and the fifteenth worldwide, we proudly join the ChildKind certified ranks of renowned pediatric hospitals, including Alberta Children's Hospital, Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Boston Children's Hospital and Seattle Children's Hospital.

What it means to be a ChildKind hospital

ChildKind is an international organization that assesses and recognizes health care facilities for their efforts in reducing pain and promoting comfort for pediatric patients.

Hand Comfort Checklist.pngCertification committee members from ChildKind International visited BC Children's and Women's hospitals in January 2023 to learn more about how we manage pain and promote comfort using the practices of our Comfort PACT (pictured at left), and how our pain care makes a positive impact for patients and families.

"We know that people who experience high quality pain management while in hospital have shorter recovery periods and fewer hospital return visits," says Susan Poitras, Clinical Director, PainCare 360 and Palliative Care and ChildKind project lead, BC Children's Hospital. "So not only does becoming certified celebrate the exceptional work we do here, but it also demonstrates our commitment to patients and families that we that we are dedicated to supporting healthier, happier children, youth and families through quality pain care."

Following the successful site visit, ChildKind International officially recognized BC Children's and Women's hospitals as a ChildKind certified hospital.

"The ChildKind process really helped to bring our teams together and create more awareness about pediatric pain care," says Susan.

Patient and family partners play a key role

At the heart of the ChildKind certification process, was BC Children's commitment to providing person- and family-centred care. To ensure the patient and family experience and perspective was included, the ChildKind project team worked with patient and family advisory groups. This process supported patients and families to participate and collaborate in discussions about pain care improvements, policy development and allowed them to co-develop pain and comfort information and resources that were accessible for patients and their families.

Nathan.jpgLong-time BC Children's Hospital patient Nathan Mitchell (pictured at right supporting the ChildKind site visit in January 2023) , and his mother Tina, both participated in the ChildKind process and are celebrating the news of certification alongside the staff.

"Being a part of the advisory group for ChildKind was a really rewarding experience," says Nathan, a member of the youth advisory committee who was involved with the creation of the Comfort PACT. "I'm glad that this information, this knowledge about pain and comfort is now so widely available that improved practices are now standard and not the exception."

His mother Tina, a member of the caregiver advisory committee, adds that, "We worked so collaboratively with the clinical staff and the policy makers, and it's amazing to see the positive outcome of our efforts."

"You don't always get to see the change that comes as a result of your feedback, but we did with ChildKind," says Tina, marveling at how quickly the pain care practices were implemented. "Even now, when we are preparing to come to the hospital, the care teams always ask if we have concerns around pain or pokes, and how they can help support Nathan through every appointment."

More resources and information

Find more information, including evidence-based approaches, tools and resources for pain prevention and treatment, on the Pain and Comfort Webpage. And use the Pediatric Pain Guide for Caregivers to learn about managing pain and supporting comfort for your infant, child or youth.

The ChildKind project was kindly supported by the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. 

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