Improving value across the board
UF College of Medicine faculty complete training, carry out quality improvement projects for several departments
April 28, 2022 — To continue to support outcomes-driven practices, faculty representatives from several UF College of Medicine departments have attended Intermountain Healthcare’s renowned training program in quality, safety and health care delivery. The faculty are leveraging their skills to execute quality and patient safety initiatives within their home departments to increase high-value, patient-centered care.
The training program is part of the value pillar of the College of Medicine’s strategic plan announced by Dean Colleen Koch, M.D., M.S., M.B.A., in December. To date, 10 faculty have completed the executive training. Five faculty will join the fall cohort and another four faculty members will attend the Harvard Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership Certificate Program, which will launch in May.
Nila Radhakrishnan, M.D., an associate professor, chief of hospital medicine and a physician director of quality, and Philip Efron, M.D., a professor of surgery and the medical director for UF Health Shands Hospital’s surgical intensive care units, have both completed Intermountain Healthcare’s Advanced Training Program.
The experience was well worth it, they said, for the experiential learning and access to feedback from mentors and peers on their quality improvement projects for UF Health.
“It was phenomenal,” Radhakrishnan said. “A lot of us have good ideas about how to make change toward improvement and how to implement high-value care. It was really nice to have the formal framework and concept and science behind how you actually do that.”
“This is a very helpful tool,” Efron added. “Embrace it if offered.”
Since completing the course, the two doctors have been busy carrying out patient care quality programs in their respective departments. Radhakrishnan’s project focuses on streamlining care for ER patients with low-risk chest pain. So far, she said, the team has implemented three organizational changes to help patients who are not having a heart attack to be set up with outpatient care and to be seen by a cardiologist for testing without being admitted to the hospital. The next step, she said, is to continue with bigger changes that require more effort but continue to have positive effects.
Efron’s project tackles optimizing the process of ventilatory liberation, or taking someone off mechanical breathing support. By analyzing patient data and outcomes, he said, his team has identified ways to revamp the extubation protocol to simplify and shorten the process. Ultimately, they hope to create a positive ripple effect with benefits such as reducing the amount of sedation patients need, improving their ability to transfer out of the ICU and opening more room for other patients in need.
The projects both build on resources and guidance from the physicians’ Advanced Training Program courses and seek to form blueprints for future quality improvement work.
“It sounds like a really wonderful course,” said Katharina Busl, M.D., M.S., who is starting the Harvard Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership Certificate Program next month. Busl, an associate professor and division chief of neurocritical care in the department of neurology and medical director of the NeuroICU at UF Health Shands Hospital, has served as quality director of the neurology department for five years.
“I’m interested to learn more from a bigger system’s perspective and an institutional perspective how problems are being seen and addressed because it’s easy to get lost in the department’s day-to-day issues,” she said.
See a list of past and upcoming UF College of Medicine participants, like Busl, below.
Intermountain Healthcare Advanced Training Program Faculty and Projects
Romano DeMarco, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric urology
“Reduce the need for general anesthesia with VCUG (voiding cystourethrogram) in children 2 years and older”
Allan Steigleman, M.D., associate professor of ophthalmology
“Cataract surgery dashboard”
Meghan Brennan, M.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology
“Reduce blood component waste in the abdominal transplant patient population”
Jesse Kresak, M.D., program director and clinical associate professor of general pathology “Refining the anatomical pathology process in abdominal transplants”
Nila Radhakrishnan, M.D., chief and associate professor of hospital medicine
“Patient-centered care pathways to allow clinically stable patients to receive high-quality outpatient care instead of requiring admission”
Philip Efron, M.D., professor of surgery and medical director for UF Health Shands Hospital’s surgical intensive care units
“Implementing a critical care quality & patient safety infrastructure”
Sailesh Konda, M.D., FAAD, FACMS, medical director and clinical associate professor of dermatology
“Development of quality and safety dashboard for the department of dermatology”
Andreas Zori, M.D., clinical assistant professor of gastroenterology
“Reducing alcohol relapse after liver transplantation for alcohol associated liver diseases”
Amita Singh, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of vascular neurology
“Improve patient literacy with improved stroke education”
John Malaty, M.D., associate professor and medical director of UF Health Family Medicine – Main
“Increase patient care continuity at UF Health Family Medicine at Main Street Clinic”
Harvard Safety, Quality, Informatics and Leadership Certificate Program Faculty
Carolyn Holland, M.D., M.Ed., FACEP, FAAP, clinical associate professor, medical director of the pediatric emergency department and division chief of pediatric emergency medicine
Kathryn Hitchcock, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of radiation oncology
Katharina Busl, M.D., M.S., associate professor and division chief of neurocritical care, medical director of the NeuroICU at UF Health Shands Hospital and director of quality for the department of neurology
Emily Weber, M.D., M.S., assistant professor and head of urogynecology in the department of obstetrics and gynecology