Core Strategy: Quality Work Groups Tackle Clinical Quality Initiatives
Catholic Health Initiatives' clinical knowledge communities collaborate on new approaches to care that can benefit patients such as Jane Eibersen and Sharon Bridges, seen here consulting with Sherif Ibrahim, MD, at St. Vincent Medical Center, Little Rock, Ark.
Catholic Health Initiatives' National Clinical Services Group has formed five work groups, each devoted to some of the most critical issues related to clinical quality in health care today. They are:
Rapid Response Teams are already in place at Mercy Medical Center, Nampa, Idaho; at Saint Francis Medical Center, Grand Island, Neb.; and in Centura Health's hospitals in Colorado. "The teams' intent is to support and collaborate with nurses caring for patients," said Terry O'Rourke, MD, chief medical officer for Centura Health. "They're available to facilitate discussions with physicians on the patient's condition and make recommendations for treatment. The teams will help us to develop standardized criteria, documentation and measures that will help enhance patient care." To help fund the development of Rapid Response Teams, Catholic Health Initiatives recently applied to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a $100,000 grant. "The foundation just asked us to resubmit the application, adding $45,000 to the request because of the importance of this concept," said Silbaugh. "Should we receive the grant, we're very excited about the possibilities." Training Under Development; Surveys Underway Another focus for the Safety and Quality Work Group is the development of training for market-based safety officers. "This is something that our market-based organizations asked for," said Jeff Norton, director of clinical services for Catholic Health Initiatives. "We know that safety isn't about adopting slogans, but about adopting specific behaviors that improve safety. Our goal is to develop world-class training for safety officers that will give them the tools they need to drive positive change in behaviors that affect safety in their organizations." The Safety and Quality Work Group is also gathering the results of a "culture of safety" survey. More than half of Catholic Health Initiatives' hospitals have completed or are in the process of completing the brief survey, developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. "The results are giving us a baseline measure of quality and safety activity in our system," said Norton. The data also shows that our hospitals have already implemented plans and solutions for patient safety," said Silbaugh. "A lot of activity stems from the people who deliver bedside patient care - those closest to the problems." Sherif Ibrahim, MD, listens to the lungs of Jane Eibersen. "Throughout Catholic Health Initiatives, the amount of talent we have providing patient care is just phenomenal," said Barry Silbaugh, MD, vice president of medical operations for Catholic Health Initiatives. Catholic Health Initiatives Leading the Way While improvement in patient safety and quality of care is a continuing journey, Silbaugh emphasizes that Catholic Health Initiatives' clinicians have much to be proud of. "In working with IHI and others, we believe that Catholic Health Initiatives is really leading the way in some of this work," he said. "One reason is that throughout Catholic Health Initiatives, the amount of talent we have providing patient care is just phenomenal. The diverse perspectives, ideas and inspirations of our clinicians truly drive patient safety and other clinical initiatives."