Clinical Quality Fellows Share Practical Lessons

Release Date: 05.13.2014
Contact Phone: 212-494-0733

Presentation of three capstone projects highlighted the Clinical Quality Fellows class of 2013-14 concluding event.

Promoting teamwork, obtaining senior leadership’s buy-in, and maintaining realistic expectations don’t sound like groundbreaking steps toward changing institutional routines. But those three basics are as essential to improving quality of care and patient safety as visionary thinking and a mastery of evidence-based change strategies. It’s a lesson reinforced at the final meeting of the United Hospital Fund/Greater New York Hospital Association Clinical Quality Fellowship Program’s class of 2013-14.

Nearly 70 guests—current and past Fellows, program faculty, and mentors—gathered at the Fund to applaud the newest group of alumni, 16 physicians and four nurses, on their successful completion of the 15-month intensive program, nationally recognized as a model for training a new generation of quality improvement experts. They were welcomed by Fund President Jim Tallon and Fellowship Program Chair Rohit Bhalla, MD, MPH, vice president and chief quality officer of Stamford Hospital, who presented certificates of completion to the graduating Fellows, and by Lorraine Ryan, GNYHA senior vice president for legal, regulatory, and professional affairs.

Capstone Projects Convey Real-World Lessons

Illustrating many of the challenges, and potential successes, that quality improvement leaders can anticipate, three of the graduating Fellows presented their capstone projects. Each Fellow must develop a capstone project to encourage innovative change at his or her home hospital and lead an interdisciplinary team in executing it as a key element of the Fellowship Program’s curriculum, along with classes and retreats, webinars, mentoring, and teamwork.

The three presentations focused on a nurse-driven protocol for reducing the incidence of catheter-associated infections, development of guidelines for a new “observation status” to improve care of patients with asthma, and implementation of systematic sepsis alerts in urgent care patients. [Descriptions of all the capstone projects can be accessed here.] Take-away messages from the presentations were discussed by Hillary Jalon, the Fund’s director of quality improvement. While the bulk of this class’s capstone projects focused on health care-acquired conditions at the heart of the New York State Partnership for Patients’ work, she noted, an encouragingly high number were related to improving patient “handoffs” between care settings, a longtime focus of the Fund’s work.


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