Residents Embrace QI Initiatives

From left: Residents Anthony Wampole, MD; Christina Beaird, MD; Hilary Stempel, MD; and Ashley Flannery, MD.
From left: Residents Anthony Wampole, MD;
Christina Beaird, MD; Hilary Stempel, MD; and
Ashley Flannery, MD.

In 2014, Department of Pediatrics residents engaged in numerous quality improvement activities aimed at improving health care delivery at American Family Children’s Hospital.

In two key initiatives, they’re using checklists to better lead family-centered rounds, and collaborating with the health care team—including physicians, nurses, and pharmacists—to improve the patient discharge process.

Each week, residents view a color-coded QI dashboard in their inpatient workroom that shows how well they met each initiative’s goals.

Ashley Flannery, MD, a third-year resident who chairs UW Health’s Resident Quality and Safety Council, said the dashboard gets residents more involved in institutional QI projects, and serves as a mechanism for sustaining change. “By monitoring and feeding back data regularly, these changes can become the culture,” she explained.

Last year, Dr. Flannery, along with fellow residents Hilary Stempel, MD, Anthony Wampole, MD, Christina Beaird, MD, and faculty members Kristin Shadman, MD, Michelle Kelly, MD, and Mary Ehlenbach, MD, presented a poster on the QI dashboard at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Board of Medical Specialties conferences.

In addition, beginning last June, residents also started using a structured communication method—IIPE-PRIS Accelerating Safe Sign-outs, or I-PASS—to improve the patient handoff process on the inpatient pediatric hematology/oncology and generalist services.

Vice Chair of Education John Frohna, MD, MPH, said that although the I-PASS model is still relatively new at most childrens’ hospitals, a study in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article showed that it reduces medical errors and preventable adverse events, and improves communication—all without impeding workflow.

Residents are also working on projects to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections, encourage safe sleep for infants, and improve the care plan for sickle cell anemia.

“These projects teach residents system-level thinking,” reflected Dr. Frohna. “By actively being involved in a safe system, residents are more willing and able to participate in improving how care is being provided.”

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