Drs. McBrien and Schieltz Receive Glowing Patient Feedback

Congratulations to Dr. Dianne McBrien (Clinical Associate Professor) and Dr. Kelly Schieltz (Clinical Assistant Professor) from the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics on some glowing patient comments recently.

“Dr. Kelly Schieltz was BEYOND understanding, empathetic and helpful. This was one of the first times that we left feeling empowered and not defeated. She gave us tools and a plan! it was a great appt.”






“Dr. McBrien is an incredible physician. She is compassionate, explains everything and answers all my questions while taking ample time to do this. She is informed and careful to relay this information to the patient. We are grateful for her service.”

Dr. Thoma Receives Grateful Patient Comment

Dr. Thoma in the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology received the following patient comment last week. Well done, Dr. Thoma!

“I don’t know if I can say enough good things about her! We left our Pulmonologist in Des Moines after a few bad appointments. Therefore, we were hesitant about finding someone new and quite a distance away. We will continue our care as long as needed with her. She’s unbelievably amazing!”

Scribe Project FAQ

As many are aware, the Department initiated a pilot project testing the use of Scribes with providers in clinic. Heidi Hansen has been facilitating this project and we connected with Heidi asking her more about the Scribe project.

What are Scribes?

Scribes are documentation assistants who follow faculty into their appointments to help document the visits so that the faculty can focus more on the patient’s needs instead of worrying about writing what is going on in the visit.

Which providers are using them?

Currently we are piloting this model with four providers. The providers who were selected and agreed to trial this are Drs. Leyser and Tewar in Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics; and Drs. Kanner and Pesce in Endocrinology.

Will their presence impact patient or clinic flow?

No, the workflow of the clinic should not change at all. The patient however, could be impacted. They could see more face-to-face interaction with their doctor and more attention to their needs during the visit among other potential positive impacts.

What is the benefit of using Scribes, and what is the goal of the program?

There are numerous benefits to using scribes. Just a couple include the increase of provider job satisfaction by reducing the amount of time that they have to do documentation outside of the work day; also, patient satisfaction is a benefit and a goal of this project. Patients should see an increase of provider engagement during their visits.

Specifically, the program is tracking the following metrics to determine if the goals are being met:

  • Provider’s daily time in Epic
  • Physician Burnout Survey
  • Epic Status Board usage to measure:
    • provider in room time
    • patient time in waiting area
  • Patient survey/feedback for Scribes in the room
  • Chart completion time
  • RVUs/Productivity

Do the physicians still sign off on the clinic notes themselves?

Yes, the physician is still 100% responsible for the documentation; the scribe fills in the information then sends it to the provider for review, additions, and signature.

How long does the pilot project last, and is the goal to expand the program or make it permanent in the future?

The plan is to pilot this for six months and then step back and evaluate the results. If it is successful we may look at expanding the program where it is appropriate and would be a benefit to all involved.

Where do the Scribes come from, internal source or external?

Who do they report to? Currently our scribes are contracted through ScribeAmerica. They technically report to the manager at Scribe America but Heidi Hansen is the UIHC contact within pediatrics.

Do the Scribes have access to Epic?

Yes, the scribes go through LIP training at HSSB so they can gain access to EPIC and be trained in the basics of EPIC documentation. They then have modified access so they can access the different pieces of EPIC to assist the providers with note documentation, patient histories, instructions, and orders.

Anything else you would like to add about the program?

There has been some learning curve to this project and the providers involved have been very supportive and flexible with this venture. Here are some of the positive comments which we have received from providers using scribes recently.

  • “Significant increase in the quality of interactions with patients and their families now that I don’t have to share my time between the screen and them. Real face-to-face interaction!”
  • “I feel much less burred out than previously without the current need of typing.”
  • “From a teaching standpoint, I can allow students to see more of my patients if we decide they don’t need to focus on note writing with me but instead history taking or presentations.”
  • “Today I closed all of my encounters at the end of the clinic. I am modifying the way I work in order to find a better balance in my life.”

Dr. Modi Featured in JMML Patient Story

Dr. Arun Modi from Hematology/Oncology was featured in a patient story about treating a toddler with a rare form of cancer – juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia, or JMML. JMML is a serious chronic leukemia that affects mostly boys 2 years old or younger. It accounts for about 2 percent of pediatric cancers and affects one or two children out of 1 million each year.

“This is the kind of cancer where your bone marrow produces an erratic type of blood cell, generally due to some kind of genetic defect in the cells, not in the body,” Modi says. “Carter had a very specific genetic defect in his blood cells that made it very resistant to normal treatments, like chemotherapy.”

Well done, Dr. Modi!

Family Testimonials for Several Pediatric Specialties

Two recent family testimonials attest to the quality multidisciplinary care provided by our specialty teams in the NICU.

The first highlights our neonatology, nephrology and urology teams. “Colt was born on October 19, 2018. He was two weeks early, only had one functioning kidney, and what they thought was a ureterocele in the bladder. He had a one-week stay in the NICU to watch his bladder/kidney and to get his sugars under control.”

The second highliths our neonatology and cardiology teams. “I was transferred to University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics for preterm labor. Libby was delivered by emergency C-section at 26 weeks and had a blood transfusion on her first day of life. Libby participated in the drawer vent study and had a PDA – a patent ductus arteriosus, a condition that occurs when the ductus arteriosus (blood vessel) doesn’t close after birth.”

Pediatric Cardiology Team Featured in Patient Story

Members of our pediatric cardiology care team were featured in a patient story on the SFCH website. Drs. Aldoss and Reinking, with Trudy Pierick, ARNP and Brenda Haag, RN were prominently featured in the story of the Knapke family.

“When Shalan and Kyle Knapke found out that their daughter Adira would be born without a fully developed right ventricle, they turned to UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital. “We are so blessed to have such an amazing hospital nearby!”

Dr. Mathews and Pediatric Neurology Team Featured in UI SFCH Patient Story

Once a week, 12-year-old Ben Schussler boards a 9 a.m. plane near his hometown of Eagan, Minnesota, and flies – usually with either a parent or a “Ben’s Team” member – to the Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. From there, he and his escort drive 25 minutes to the clinical research unit located within University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics.

Clinic staff all know Ben, and he enters the clinic and heads to his infusion bay, where for an hour he’ll receive an experimental treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). After the infusion, staff will monitor Ben for side effects, and on some days he has to have a blood draw to test progress. He’s usually back home by 7 or8 p.m. that same day.

Ben is part of a clinical trial testing to see whether a new therapy will change the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, says Katherine Mathews, MD, pediatric neurologist at University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and the UI’s principal investigator for the study in which Ben is participating. DMD is a genetic disorder marked by progressive degeneration of the muscles and increasing weakness.

Continue reading…