Aug. 17, 2022 — Like football, health care is a team sport where groups of physicians, residents, physician assistants, nurses and therapists collaborate to provide the best care possible for their patients. A new program being piloted as part of the UF College of Medicine’s strategic plan is leveraging these interprofessional relationships to improve patient outcomes in Gainesville and beyond.
The Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, or CUSP, originally developed by Johns Hopkins patient safety researchers, aims to improve the culture of patient safety while providing health teams the tools and support to address patient-safety hazards. College of Medicine participants are currently undergoing executive-level training as part of the project, an initiative positioned within the strategic plan’s value pillar. CUSP training will result in the development of physician-nurse dyads in each unit at UF Health Shands Hospital that will set quality and safety goals specific to their unit’s needs.
“The most exciting component of this program is the physician-nurse dyad partnership,” said Nila Radhakrishnan, M.D., a clinical associate professor, chief of the division of hospital medicine and the project champion. “With their combined expertise, our physicians and nurses know what matters most to both the patient and the unit. When you create that clear line of communication among everyone, the outcomes are going to be tremendous.”
Unit members may choose to focus on an array of safety hazards depending on their priorities, including rates of hospital-acquired infections, central line infections and falls.
Among the units piloting CUSP training are the UF Health Shands Hospital surgical intensive care units, where Philip Efron, M.D., a professor and medical director of the surgical ICUs, is working closely with Ann Malec, D.N.P., R.N., NEA-BC, a UF Health Shands associate vice president of nursing and patient services.