Mar 6, 2009

Join us on the Surgical Safety Checklist Sprint Action Day: March 10th

In December 2008, at IHI's National Forum for Quality Improvement in Health Care, Dr. Don Berwick challenged us all to join IHI in a unique social enterprise:

The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist has shown tremendous potential to save lives. A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggests that implementation of the checklist can reduce inpatient complications and prevent deaths. The one year pilot study has the potential to prevent 9,360,000 complications and 1, 638,000 deaths (assuming 234 million operations performed globally every year). Watch the checklist in action:

Since December 2008, look what's been happening...

How are things going?

Join us on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 for Sprint Action Day to find out! Sprint Action Day is a day designed to support and accelerate testing and use of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. Have questions? Has your local hospital tested the Checklist? Need advice on testing the Checklist? Already tested the Checklist? Tell us how it went! Have questions on how students can get involved?

Hear from Dr. Don Berwick, IHI Director Fran Griffin, and other key participants from 3-4pm ET. Click here for more details.

Also, check out the Sprint Action Day blog!

Mar 5, 2009

Leading from the Bottom Up: On Call with Jim Reinertsen

Things look a lot bigger and taller from the bottom...

Join us for an On Call Event with Jim Reinerstein

Monday, March 9, 2009 – 5:30-6:30 pm Eastern

Sure, you want to improve the quality of health care. But you’re just a student – who’s going to listen to you?

Plenty of people, if you know how to approach them. Join guest speaker Jim Reinertsen, senior fellow at IHI and the former CEO of three health systems in Minnesota and Massachusetts, as he explains how you can lead from the bottom of your organization. You’ll learn:

* What it means to lead from the bottom up
* The barriers you’re likely to face and how to overcome them
* Communication styles that can increase your influence
* Tips and action ideas you can use right away

Jim Reinertsen, MD, is president of The Reinertsen Group, and has 15 years of experience as a CEO and 20 years as a practicing physician. Among other roles, he has been a member of the IOM Committees that produced To Err Is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm, and was a member of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Join this free call! Advance registration is required. Click here to register!

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.

Hope to see you all on the call!

Religion and Culture Influencing Hand Hygiene

I recently came across a very interesting article in the American Journal of Infection Control, which discussed how religion and culture could potentially influence the promotion of hand hygiene in healthcare. The World Health Organization's Global Patient Safety Challenge, "Clean Care is Safer Care," is dedicated to tackling the issue of health care-associated infection worldwide.

The authors of the article, titled Religion and Culture: Potential undercurrents influencing hand hygiene promotion in health care, wanted to investigate if religious faith and culture could impact hand hygiene behavior. Here is what they found:

Results: Religious faith and culture can strongly influence hand hygiene behavior in health care workers and potentially affect compliance with best practices. Interesting data were retrieved on specific indications for hand cleansing according to the 7 main
religions worldwide, interpretation of hand gestures, the concept of "visibly dirty" hands, and the sure of alcohol-based hand rubs and prohibition of alcohol use in some religions.

Conclusions: The impact of religious faith and cultural specificities must be taken into consideration when implementing a multimodal strategy to promote hand hygiene on a global scale.

While this study needs additional research, it provides an interesting perspective on hand hygiene compliance particularly considering the need to involve patients and families in hand hygiene awareness and practice. As with many patient safety and patient care initiatives, it is always important to consider an individual's religious and cultural beliefs when attempting to apply innovative concepts.

Mar 2, 2009

Vanderbilt Chapter Update

The Vanderbilt Chapter of the IHI Open School has launched with interest and enthusiasm from a diverse group of Vanderbilt students, faculty, staff, and administrators. With the assistance of some close friends and our fellow National Forum attendees, we have secured a faculty advisor--Sebastian Strom, M.D., M.B.A.--and a dean advisor--Bonnie Miller, M.D.--who are committed to engaging students in quality improvement and patient safety efforts.

While the Vanderbilt Chapter is still in its inception phases, we have many things cooking: we are drafting a mission statement to direct our current and future efforts; scheduling meetings with quality improvement and patient safety stakeholders, such as our Chief Quality Officer; and planning our first open meeting, which aims to recruit students from the School of Nursing, Owen Graduate School of Business, as well as the rest of the School of Medicine. In the meantime, we are generating a list of potential chapter projects, which we envision will be independently managed by teams of Open School students with the assistance of key faculty.

Specifically, plans are in the works to create a School of Medicine elective that will allow students to participate in quality improvement efforts across the medical center and earn credit towards their M.D. degree. The elective would be a practical complement to the IHI Open School's online curriculum. Having the Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences Education as one of our advisors should facilitate some of our curricular efforts: we think we will able to offer this elective by the next academic semester. Eventually, we hope to open this elective to students from Vanderbilt's other graduate schools, but securing administrative support for an interdisciplinary elective may take a little more time.

Furthermore, we plan to work closely with the medical school curriculum development team to integrate foundational quality improvement and patient safety topics into our new medical school curriculum to pique students' interests in the field and draw them to the IHI Open School. Additionally, we hope to create new long-term quality improvement and patient safety research opportunities for students under the School of Medicine's Emphasis Program, building on existing ones that are overseen by Robert Dittus, M.D., M.P.H., one of Vanderbilt's quality improvement gurus.

Finally, we are exploring quality improvement opportunities outside of the traditional acute care setting, e.g., at Vanderbilt's free student-run community health clinic, The Shade Tree Family Clinic, and with Vanderbilt's employee wellness program, HEALTH Plus.

These projects are materializing as the Chapter builds a foundational organizational structure and continues to recruit members from the Vanderbilt community. In the future, we hope to expand our membership to other Nashville universities and hospitals. However, while our plans are ambitious, we are starting small and hoping to secure greater support from our community with early accomplishments.

Irving Ye and Piotr Pilarski
Co-Leaders, Vanderbilt Chapter of the IHI Open School