Oct 31, 2008

20th Annual National Forum

Happy Halloween!

Celebrate the holiday with this sweet opportunity!

Every year in December, IHI hosts a National Forum on quality improvement in health care and this year there is a new student track available. Click here for more information.

The student track features The National Forum Clarion Case Study Competition, hosted by the University of Minnesota and the IHI Open School for Health Professions. The Clarion Case Study Competition is an interprofessional team competition for health professions students to collaborate on creating a simple root cause analysis of a sentinel event with recommended changes. Each group will be assigned a 15 minute time slot to present their case study to a panel of interprofessional expert judges. The top three winners will receive prizes! No experience is necessary. To participate, add code CCSC into the "Add Session by Code" when registering for the Forum. If you have already registered but would like to participate, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Student Scholarships are available. Please e-mail me (eluo@ihi.org) for an application!

Oct 28, 2008

How a Simple Checklist Can Dramatically Reduce Medical Errors

On Call Audio Conference
How a Simple Checklist Can Dramatically Reduce Medical Errors

Monday, November 3, 2008
5:30 - 6:30 PM Eastern Time
4:30 - 5:30 PM Central Time
3:30 - 4:30 PM Mountain Time
2:30 - 3:30 PM Pacific Time

Often the simplest tool can make the biggest difference.

In 2003, ICUs in Michigan implemented a humble checklist of basic hygiene and sterilization practices. After three months, infection rates dropped from 2.7 per 1,000 patients to zero.
After 18 months, more than 1,500 lives had been saved.

Since then, checklist creator Peter Pronovost, MD, has developed several other checklists that have helped clinicians across the world dramatically reduce the medical errors that lead to hospital infections. As a result, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people of 2008 and he recently received a "genius grant” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Pronovost and learn:
• What inspired him to develop the checklist
• How patients and caregivers benefit from the use of checklists
• The hurdles and surprises he encountered in implementing the first checklist
• The best way to go about getting your own improvement suggestions adopted

Join the Discussion
Advanced registration is required.
Click here to register.
Don’t forget to write down the passcode you’re assigned since you will need it to join the call.

This free call is part of a monthly audio conference series that brings experts in health care improvement together with students from medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, health care management, public health, and other allied health professions. Each hour-long call is moderated by a student, ends with a question-and-answer period, and focuses on an issue that affects you. Visit our website to download audio files or written transcripts of past On Call audio conferences.

Oct 27, 2008

Practice Makes Perfect: Patient-Centered Care

Patient-Centered care is one of the six aims in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Crossing the Quality Chasm, and arguably the most important of the six aims. As silly as this may sound, the aim reminds everyone that patients are people too. Patients are in a vulnerable position when they seek care. They are reaching out for advice, assistance, reassurance, support, and expert knowledge. So, the least health care professionals can do is to respect their patients' preferences and work with the patients when delivering care.

After allowing 2nd year medical school student friends of mine examine my severe otitis (fluid in the ear), I now realize that achieving the patient-centered care aim is much easier said than done. As I described my ailment, I slowly felt myself transforming into a specimen with "cool pathology described in textbooks!"

I'll admit that I too was excited to be "examined." After-all, I would be in their shoes in just a few short years. But apprehension soon took over my curiosity as I was reminded that my giggling would make it difficult for them to examine me and was a sign of my noncompliance. This doctor speak quickly changed the mood. I had three of my friends, or rather doctors in the making, stick their otoscopes into my ear in succession.

Friend 1 was very hesitant. She was unable to see what was later described to me as bubbles behind my ear drum until I told her she could probably stick the otoscope farther into my ear. I appreciated her hesitancy, which I translated as a sincere concern for accidentally puncturing my ear drum.

Friend 2 was just the opposite of Friend 1. Friend 2 approached me with palpable confidence. Her eyes glowed with excitement and her hand gripped the otoscope in the same fashion an eager kid holds his spoon when given ice cream. Perhaps she was compensating for her height (something I can relate to since I stand proudly at 5'1"), but she pulled a little too hard on my ear lobe and practically jammed the otoscope into my ear. Only after seeing my pained expression did she say, "Oh, I'm sorry. Please let me know if I'm hurting you."

Friend 3 finally "got it right." Maybe it was because she benefited from watching Friend 1 and Friend 2. She approached me in warm and collected way- not overconfident but definitely in control of the situation. She told me before making any movements to let her know if she was hurting me since it was not supposed to hurt. The otoscope was inserted in a straight path rather than in the wandering multi-directional course Friend 1 and Friend 2 had used. After a few seconds of silence, she said, "Oh, I see it! It does look like a cluster of bubbles behind your ear drum."

I know all three friends will be excellent doctors. They are diligent in their studies, passionate about helping patients, and dedicated to their chosen career journey. But how do you learn exceptional bedside manner? As a patient, I am oftentimes hesitant to question a procedure because I assume that since the doctors are the experts, they know best. How do health care professionals achieve the balance between being a walking encyclopedia of health and ensuring the comfort of their patients?

On the one hand, it takes an active acknowledgment that patients are people too. And, I suppose, on the other hand, it takes practice. So, to Friends 1, 2,and 3, I'm glad to have helped in your medical training by being an example of severe otitis pathology and helping you hone your bedside manner skills. Patient-centered care takes practice to make perfect!

Click here to read an article on the Slate written by a standardized patient about her experience helping 2nd year medical students practice performing physicals. Thanks for sending me this article Emory!