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Quality Improvement, Patient Safety, and Best Practices

Our group believes that a commitment to quality improvement, patient safety, and systems improvement is critical to our mission of providing the best patient care possible. We also believe that teaching these concepts and emphasizing their importance should be a critical aspect of the teaching we do since these are vital skills for physicians entering practice.  We have undertaken a number of projects and initiatives aimed at improving patient care, value, and patient experience. These projects include:

  • Eliminating excessive lab utilization – The ordering of unnecessary blood tests leads to patient discomfort and dissatisfaction, increases the cost of health care, and contributes to anemia.  Through a structured and thoughtful approach to lab ordering, our group has significantly decreased unnecessary testing.
  • Structured communication between nurses and physicians – By setting clear group expectations and standardizing our workflow, we have improved the communication between nurses and physicians. 
  • Disease-specific care pathways – Our group has worked with other disciplines and specialties to develop processes for ensuring we are providing evidenced-based care in specific diagnoses which are common in hospital medicine.
  • Communication with patients – Providing outstanding patient care involves more than just ordering tests and prescribing treatments.  We believe that communicating with patients in a compassionate, clear, and collaborative manner not only improves patient satisfaction but also improves the care itself.  We are continually looking for ways to improve our communication with patients so they can navigate through their health care with a feeling of control and peace of mind.
  • Pain management – Managing patients’ pain aggressively and safely is a challenging task.  Our group has taken a lead in improving the way our institution assesses and manages pain and has made this issue a priority by collaborating with nursing staff, creating frequent reminders during patient care, and providing education to faculty members and learners.
  • Discharge communication – The transition that occurs when a patient is discharged from the hospital can sometimes lead to miscommunication, confusion, and unnecessary risk to patients.  In addition to striving for clear communication with patients, our hospitalist group is committed to direct, timely, and thorough communication with patients’ primary care providers and other outpatient providers.