February 2, 2012

Patient safety, quality care at heart of Pioneer Program

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National patient safety guru Lucian Leape, M.D., was at Vanderbilt last week to speak to participants of the Medical Center’s Quality and Patient Safety Pioneer Program. (photo by Susan Urmy)

Patient safety, quality care at heart of Pioneer Program

Patient safety expert Lucian Leape, M.D., visited Vanderbilt University Medical Center last week to deliver the keynote address at a learning session attended by participants of Vanderbilt’s Quality and Patient Safety Pioneer Program.

Leape is widely recognized as a founder of the modern patient safety movement. The Pioneer Program provides education, training and assistance to participating VUMC groups as they design, implement and test performance improvements.

In a half-day learning session held Jan. 27 at Ruby Event Hall, Leape spoke to about 130 physicians, nurses and frontline staff. His keynote address was titled “Respect and Culture in Patient Safety.” He also led an interactive session.

Leape was followed on the program by Owen School faculty members Ranga Ramanujam, Ph.D., and Tim Vogus, Ph.D., who presented a case study on organizational innovation and implementation.

For this inaugural year, 22 groups submitted proposals to the Pioneer Program and four were selected to participate.

This year’s proposed improvement projects include better patient handovers and teamwork, infection prevention, falls prevention and medication safety. The participating groups include Medical Center East Operative Services, the Burn Center, Children’s Transformational Health Center and Pediatric Cardiac Perioperative Services (partnering as one group), and the Vanderbilt Heart & Vascular Institute.

“The projects are the vehicles to exercise new knowledge and skills to advance culture in accountability, reliability and performance outcomes for our patients, families and staff,” said Julie Morath, R.N., M.S., chief quality and safety officer, who also spoke at the event.

C. Wright Pinson, MBA, M.D., deputy vice chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System, congratulated the participants for having been selected for the program’s inaugural year.