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Inside Pediatrics Podcast

A $125,000 grant from the Hearst Foundations will support innovations in pediatric cardiac care being developed at Children’s of Alabama.

The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Center of Alabama is working with the Kirklin Institute for Research in Surgical Outcomes (KIRSO) to develop a Unified Cardiac Database. This grant will help Children’s and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) develop a new, unified database comprised of data elements from three disparate databases.

Currently, extraction of data from several separate databases requires extraction, compilation and analysis, all of which create delays in optimal care delivery for this vulnerable population. The new Unified Cardiac Database will provide an easy way to extract data to better inform the course of care. The goal is to further improve patient outcomes by reducing morbidity and avoiding complications for patients undergoing cardiac procedures at Children’s. When fully developed, this tool could be used at other pediatric heart centers.

“This project will fulfill the dream of rapidly extracting clinical data from multiple patient care information repositories. This will facilitate Quality Assurance dashboards as well as rapid queries of numerous demographics and outcomes of a vast array of congenital heart disease diagnoses and operations,” said James K. Kirklin, MD, Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UAB, and Director of KIRSO. “Our database development team is creating a user friendly interface that will serve as a template for unique point of care information availability that will inform decision-making in cardiac and other complex pediatric domains.”

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. In addition, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation operates the United States Senate Youth Program and the Journalism Awards Program.

The Hearst Foundations identify and fund outstanding nonprofits to ensure that people of all backgrounds in the United States have the opportunity to build healthy, productive and inspiring lives. The Hearst Foundation, Inc. was founded by William Randolph Hearst in 1946. In 1949 Hearst established the California Charities Foundations, later renamed the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Both Foundations are guided by the same charitable mission, which reflects the philanthropic interests of their founder. Since inception, the Foundations have made over 21,500 grants to nearly 6,000 organizations, totaling more than $1.3 billion in funds awarded.

Since 1911, Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children, offering inpatient, outpatient and primary care throughout central Alabama. Ranked among the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Children’s serves patients from every county in Alabama and nearly every state. Children’s is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the teaching hospital for the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, psychiatry, research and residency programs. The medical staff consists of UAB faculty and Children’s full-time physicians as well as private practicing community physicians.