June 18, 2013

Reorganization Part 1: Quality

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The new Quality structure includes the formation of new positions, programs and initiatives. Click on the following link to see the new structure:UAB Medicine Quality Restructure (PDF)

A senior vice president of Quality, Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness will report to UAB Health System CEO Will Ferniany, Ph.D., and will oversee: a Quality Cabinet made up of UAB Medicine leaders; the new UAB Medicine Program for Clinical Effectiveness and Operational Excellence; and key Quality positions and functions including:

  • Chief Quality Education Officer (a new position, which oversees the new Quality certificate program)
  • Chief Quality Officer – Ambulatory
  • Chief Quality Officer – Inpatient
  • Director of Advanced Enterprise Analytics (a new position and program, which is explained below)
We talked to UAB Medicine’s key Quality personnel to learn more about the details of this segment of our reorganization.

Why are we reorganizing our Quality structure?
“Our focus on quality will continue to ensure that we provide our patients with the safest, most satisfying care possible. Our ultimate goal with the enhancement of our quality structure is to achieve our goals of AMC21: to be in the top 10% of the University Health System Consortium in Quality and to become the preferred AMC of the 21st Century.” 
- Will Ferniany, Ph.D., UAB Health System CEO

What are the main components of your role as SVP Quality, Patient Safety, and Clinical Effectiveness?
“I want to better align our quality and patient safety efforts by establishing synergies with existing resources, leveraging technology, establishing an advanced enterprise analytical team, and introducing an effector arm of these efforts through the UAB Medicine Program for Clinical Effectiveness and Operational Excellence. This strategy will enhance the quality and safe care of our patients in a cost effective manner. As a team, we seek to make UAB among the top performing Academic Medical Centers in the country and a leader in the education of quality and patient safety through the development of the UAB Medicine Advanced Quality Academy. A personal goal would be to promote quality and safety efforts through publications, presentations, and grants to showcase UAB leadership in this field, promote the career development of our faculty and staff, and offer involvement in quality and patient safety initiatives to all members of the UAB Medicine team.”
- Loring W. Rue III, M.D., Senior Vice President, Quality, Patient Safety and Clinical Effectiveness

How will our new Quality structure position us for future success? 
“It will align our quality initiatives and outcomes across the Health System to ensure that we are providing the highest quality, safe care to our patients wherever they receive their care within our health system. The Program for Clinical Effectiveness and Operational Excellence will allow for expertise in developing, facilitating, and executing process improvement initiatives supported by an Analytic Enterprise that will allow us to make meaningful use of all the data that will be obtained by ‘one stop shopping.’” 
- Emily A. Boohaker, M.D., Chief Quality Officer – Ambulatory

What is the UAB Medicine Quality and Safety Academy?
“UAB Medicine, in partnership with health-related schools across the UAB campus, is planning to launch a certificate program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety. The goal of this program is to create an internal training program in Quality Improvement, which is an essential ‘core capacity’ for a leading Medical Center such as ours. The training is built with a specific intent to disseminate knowledge of the why and the how of process management and performance improvement. The program will give physicians, nurses, clinicians and administrators, and students and trainees the understanding and tools necessary to conduct state-of-the-art clinical practice improvement projects, as well as use quality improvement methodology to manage and integrate non-clinical processes – all part of the goals of alignment in AMC 21. Slated to begin this fall as a certificate course, the eventual goal is to confer academic credit for the coursework, hopefully leading to a Master’s Degree from UAB in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety – one of only a handful in existence in the nation.”
- Scott Buchalter, M.D., Chief Quality Education Officer

What is the main role of the Program for Clinical Effectiveness and Operational Excellence?
"Most of our challenges and improvement opportunities have the same 3 fundamental elements: 1: Data 2: Information Technology, and 3: Change. For example, every question starts with some form of data request or analysis, usually followed by a proposed Health Information or Technology solution, and finally, you have to get people to actually do something new or different. Our program will bring these three functions together in one place. The program will align with the UAB Medicine Advanced Quality Academy so that we approach problem solving in a standard way across UAB Medicine and speak the same performance improvement language.”
- Benjamin B. Taylor, M.D., Chief Quality Officer – Inpatient and Director, UAB Medicine Program for Clinical Effectiveness and Operational Excellence

What will the new role Director of Advanced Enterprise Analytics entail, and how will it help position UAB for future success?
“A significant amount of my effort as the Director of Advanced Enterprise Analytics will be directed toward integrating existing clinical, financial, and administrative databases across the University and Health System. The confluence of these data resources will serve both patient safety and quality of care-related administrative and research needs in a timely, efficient, and structured manner. UABHS Data Resources will be an integral component of Advanced Enterprise Analytics and will be important to the success of our overall strategy to align the multiple databases that impact the care of our patients. Also, we view this endeavor as an opportunity for students from academic programs across the campus such as the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Public Health, and Health Related Professions to gain hands-on experience with these topics. By bringing together well-established and productive resources across existing UAB entities, the new Quality structure will allow UAB to continue making significant strides toward improving patient safety and quality by introducing a systematic, quantitative approach to these issues.”
- Gerald McGwin, MS, Ph.D., Director of Advanced Enterprise Analytics