Interprofessional collaboration and how innovative programs can improve the quality of health care and education were recurring themes at the second Quality Improvement Symposium, held March 2 at the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU.
The annual event is part of the ECU Redesigning Education to Accelerate Change in Healthcare (REACH) program – an American Medical Association grant-funded initiative to transform medical school curriculum so it better prepares future physicians in patient safety and quality improvement in an environment of team-based, patient-centered care. The Brody School of Medicine was one of 11 schools nationwide chosen to participate in the initiative.
This year’s symposium featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Jennifer Hepps, assistant professor of pediatrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and clinician at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. Hepps walked the more than 100 symposium attendees through how her institution implemented a program to improve patient “handoffs” between shifts at the hospital.
But the day also showcased the quality improvement efforts of faculty, health care providers and students from across ECU’s Division of Health Sciences.
“Someone at my table (today) said ‘quality improvement is a team sport.’ And I really think that’s true,” Hepps said.
“The posters and presentations you see today are a good representation of what we do at REACH, which is interprofessional collaboration,” said Dr. Jason Higginson, director of neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics and leader of ECU’s Teachers of Quality Academy – another REACH initiative.
The following participants were recognized Wednesday for outstanding presentations:
- Ismail Kassim, a second-year medical student, took first place for his podium presentation about reducing sepsis-related mortalities through implementing a multidisciplinary approach.
- Danielle Walsh, an ECU pediatric surgeon, and Vidant Medical Center nurse Elaine Henry earned second place for their collaboration to improve patient outcomes via a robust surgical quality program.
- Third place was awarded to Danielle McMullen, also a nurse at the medical center – which serves as the Brody School of Medicine’s affiliated teaching hospital – for her interest in improving the integrity of specimens coming from lab draws in the Emergency Department.
Awards were also given for outstanding posters – all of which were displayed in the East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU lobby throughout the event. Recognized for their efforts were LaShawn McDuffie, a Vidant Medical Center nurse, Tim Barnes of the ECU Department of Radiation Oncology and Dr. Heather Oxendine of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.
More information about the ECU REACH program is available online at http://www.ecu.edu/reach.