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Each year during the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Critical Care Congress, the Drs. Vidyasagar and Nagamani Dharmapuri Award for Excellence in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine is conferred on an individual who has demonstrated exemplary and pioneering achievement in the care of critically ill and injured infants and children.
Jeffrey P. Burns, MD, MPH, graciously accepted this award during SCCM’s 47th Critical Care Congress in San Antonio, Texas, USA, for his dedication to the development of the global OPENPediatrics forum that supports international education.
“It was a great surprise and it feels very humbling,” shared Dr. Burns when reflecting on this award. “Our field has a large number of creative and hard working individuals who given decades of dedicated effort to truly move the field forward, thus the overwhelming feeling I have is that there are many others out there besides me that deserve this award.”
OPENPediatrics is an online global community for healthcare professionals. This open-access platform facilitates the sharing of best practices from all resource settings through innovative collaboration and digital learning technologies. Through OPENPediatrics, healthcare professionals can access peer-reviewed content, accredited and nonaccredited courses, expert lectures and demonstrations, interactive device simulators, protocols, and medical calculators. For verified users, there is also the opportunity to form and join groups, share digital resources, engage in online discussions, and connect with community members through video chat.
For Dr. Burns, the inspiration to develop OPENPediatrics came from the desire to expand the reach of teaching and collaboration beyond the walls of an institution. “A digital platform allows us to harness great teaching and best practices currently locked within the walls of institutions around the world and to scale knowledge across the planet to anyone, anywhere, whenever it is needed,” said Dr. Burns.
The global community embraced this concept and has been utilizing OPENPediatrics. As of 2018, it has been accessed in every country and territory around the world. “Nothing crosses borders in our world like a willingness to collaborate on the care of a critically ill child, and we see this every day on OPENPediatrics,” said Dr. Burns. “We have heard how it saved the life of a child in the Middle East, changed how they provide burn care for children in Moscow, reduced CLABSIs [central line-associated bloodstream infections] in Turkey, and that doctors caring for critically ill children in war-torn Syria have been using it for over the past two years.”
In 2015, OPENPediatrics was recognized for its innovative use of technology to address a global challenge and was named a Microsoft Education Tech Award laureate by the Tech Museum of Innovation.
As OPENPediatrics serves the healthcare community in the future, Dr. Burns envisions that it will continue to build on its resources with subject matter from top experts in the care of critically ill children and that this content will remain an open-access global resource.
diagnosis or treatment—is expanding at a rate that no clinician can master,” said Dr. Burns. “Thus I believe we are moving rapidly into an era where digital platforms like OPENPediatrics will be not just a learning environment, but a decision support tool as well.”
Learn more about OPENPediatrics at openpediatrics.org.