Quality and Safety Conference emphasizes teamwork

With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services surveys at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center fresh in attendees’ minds, the Sixth Annual Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Conference drew a large crowd to Onstead Auditorium April 25.

Keynote speaker Dr. Eduardo Salas, professor and chair of psychological sciences at Rice University, discussed the importance of teamwork for organizations seeking “high reliability,” whether in the business of healthcare, oil and gas production or space exploration. Effective teams have clear roles and responsibilities and work in cultures that allow for debriefing and incident reporting without retribution. “Teamwork saves lives,” he said. “Sometimes you just need one extra teamwork behavior to prevent an error.”

In a breakout session, Megan Fischer, vice president for quality at Baylor St. Luke’s, provided background information on how the hospital team worked with the surveyors. “CMS was looking for a culture of patient safety and reliability,” she said. By building trust and communication within the team, the hospital was able to demonstrate its commitment to quality improvement and patient safety. In an example of just-in-time training, the team developed a personal protective equipment process and qualified 3,500 faculty, staff and trainees on its use while the CMS surveyors were on site. “We built it around a culture of wanting to be the best,” Fischer said.

Dr. Nana Coleman, assistant dean of graduate medical education and director of the conference, discussed at the conference the College’s Team Launch program, which was created to “make sure learners and trainees are prepared to communicate, practice teamwork and be professional” in the clinical and research environment. Work with the ACGME Clinical Learning Environment Review has reinforced in her the necessity of dialogue and integration between Baylor’s residency programs and the affiliate hospitals: “Now we all work collaboratively, share information, learn from each other and grow in best practices,” Coleman said.

She introduced the winners of the quality and safety abstract competition including medical student Richa Lavingia, who presented “Improving Safe Opioid Prescribing, Storage and Disposal Instructions in the Pediatric Emergency Department.” Dr. Catherine Anglin, a fellow in pediatric emergency medicine, described “Using the Best Practice Advisory to Improve Influenza Vaccination Rates in a Pediatric Emergency Department,” while Dr. Amrita Singh, a hospitalist in the Woodlands, discussed “Reducing Antibiotic Use in Children with RSV Bronchiolitis: Implementation of a Successful Antimicrobial Stewardship Program in a Community Hospital Setting.”

Coleman also praised the teamwork of the event’s planning committee. “Students have led every aspect of this conference,” she said.

-By Erin Blair