January 03, 2018

Leslie Hayes teaches quality improvement and patient safety in South Africa

Written by
hayes africaLeslie Hayes, M.D., associate professor of pediatrics in the UAB Department of Pediatrics, represented the UAB School of Medicine on a recent trip to South Africa. Hayes and Scott Buchalter, M.D., clinical professor in the UAB Department of Medicine, traveled to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital and Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, South Africa, to engage and teach their respective health care leadership groups.

“This was an amazing opportunity to work with a caring, talented and engaged group of leaders who have a thirst for improving health care in their country and a desire to make it happen,” said Hayes. “While we identified many differences between our respective health care systems, we discovered that more often than not we share similar challenges that are best addressed with a strong quality improvement and patient safety approach.”

Hayes and Buchalter spent the week teaching quality improvement and patient safety, as well as guiding the leaders through database development for ongoing improvement. The trip was part of an effort to promote and develop health care leaders in the Eastern Cape, which is a province of South Africa.

“In order to impact the health of children, we need to work within the walls of UAB and Children’s of Alabama,” said Mitchell Cohen, M.D., chair of the UAB Department of Pediatrics and physician-in-chief at Children’s of Alabama. “It is also vitally important to work in the community, both locally and globally. The visit by Drs. Hayes and Buchalter to South Africa fulfills the mission of the Department of Pediatrics to improve the health of every child, every day, everywhere.”