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New teams set to pioneer quality, safety

Sep. 27, 2012, 10:13 AM

This year’s Vanderbilt Quality and Patient Safety Pioneer Program is under way with a new set of teams ready to launch.

“To advance a long-term goal of fostering a culture of patient safety, quality and reliability, Vanderbilt University Medical Center is seeking to weave quality and safety improvement into day-to-day clinical operations. The Pioneer Program is a yearlong immersion in safety science and system improvement in service to this vital organizational goal,” said Julie Morath, R.N., M.S., chief quality and safety officer and one of two executive sponsors of the program, along with Gerald Hickson, M.D., associate dean for clinical affairs and director of the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.

Participants in this year’s Vanderbilt Quality and Patient Safety Pioneer Program include physicians, nurses, managers, pharmacists and laboratory professionals.

Participants are selected based on clinical improvement goals, evidence of past improvement efforts and pledges of participation from their leaders. Medical Center leaders make the selections under a process led by Morath and Hickson. This is the program’s second year.

The participants learn by doing. Along with education and training, they receive support to design, implement and test improvements. The participating groups this year include Hospital Medicine, Surgical Pathology and Vanderbilt Medical Group Administration.

The participants include physicians, nurses, managers, pharmacists and laboratory professionals. The program involves five half-day learning sessions, bi-weekly conference calls, coaching and mentoring by experts (both from within Vanderbilt and from outside the University), and support for project management, data gathering and analysis.

“The program’s hallmark is its interdisciplinary experiential learning model,” said the organizer, Michael Cull, Ph.D., MSN, director of education and dissemination with the Office of Quality and Patient Safety.

For Vanderbilt residents and clinical faculty, the program also helps serve training and certification requirements.

The featured speakers at this year’s learning sessions will include patient safety expert Allan Frankel, M.D. (formerly the director of patient safety for Partners Healthcare System in Boston), author and safety expert John Nance, J.D., former U.S. Treasury Secretary and patient safety advocate Paul O’Neill, and others.

For more information see the Quality and Patient Safety website.

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