Sept. 6, 2023 — UF College of Medicine faculty who recently underwent training geared toward improving the quality and safety of health care are now applying what they’ve learned to new projects in Gainesville. Their goal: to improve care and enhance safety while developing a training program that will elevate care across the state, region and nation.
As part of a strategic plan project, some faculty members and nursing colleagues received training in the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program, or CUSP, methodology, which seeks to improve the culture of patient safety by providing health teams with tools and support to address patient-safety hazards. During the first phase of the project’s implementation at UF, pilot units developed physician-nurse dyads to lead front-line teams at UF Health Shands Hospital to identify patient safety opportunities and implement strategies to improve care.
“When you focus on the care and the process, instead of focusing on one metric or one number, the measurable metrics follow,” said Nila Radhakrishnan, M.D., a clinical associate professor, chief of the division of hospital medicine and the College of Medicine physician project champion. “The way we can transform patient safety and the culture of safety is by giving our front-line nurses, faculty and other staff members the tools and methodologies they need and then support them.”
During the next phase of CUSP implementation at the College of Medicine, faculty are developing a training program where UF faculty will share their expertise with other institutions throughout the state, region and nation. The training program will be housed under the College of Medicine’s new Quality and Patient Safety initiative, soon to be an institute, which will lead the nation in driving innovations to improve quality, patient safety, health care efficiency and workforce development by harnessing UF’s unparalleled computational strength in artificial intelligence.
Faculty leading the training program will teach other health care teams how to implement the methodologies that make UF Health Shands Hospital a top-rated hospital for patient safety, as indicated by its recent “A” Hospital Safety Grade from The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit that reports on safety and quality in hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.
“We’re really excited to tailor CUSP to our needs, to practice it experientially and to offer our own expertise to others with the vision that people from all over will come to get this training,” Radhakrishnan said. “In that way, we’re also transforming the patient safety culture at UF Health and beyond.”