J Michael StraughnJ. Michael Straughn, Jr., M.D.J. Michael Straughn, Jr. M.D., has been appointed vice chair of Quality and Patient Safety for the UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Straughn is a professor in the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and a senior scientist in UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center and Center for Women’s Reproductive Health. He is also the fellowship director for the Gynecologic Oncology program and the Associate Chief Medical and Quality Officer for UAB’s Women and Infants Services.

In an effort to improve the quality and safety of patient care delivered at UAB, the Department of OB/GYN established a Section of Quality and Patient Safety. This section will be an important facilitator of efforts needed to achieve and maintain departmental and health system goals.

“Going forward, it is imperative that this department serves as a leader in quality care in women's health, both in the state and nationally,” says Warner Huh, M.D., FACOG, FACS, professor and chair of the UAB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. “We need to set the standard and expectations for the state of Alabama, and quality care needs to be the foundation for the department's tripartite mission.”

Most clinical academic departments have quality improvement (QI) committees that are responsible for tracking complications, performing case reviews, and holding morbidity and mortality conferences. However, these committees are not always structured to handle the implementation of practice change.

The Department of OB/GYN’s Section of Quality and Patient Safety will be key to ensure unbeatable patient care practices and consistent improvements on both department and hospital levels.

“I am honored to be named the vice chair of Quality and Patient Safety for the Department of OB/GYN. Addressing patient outcomes has been a passion of mine for over a decade,” says Straughn. “I am excited to collaborate with nursing and physician leadership within the department and the School of Medicine to continue to improve the quality and safety of the exceptional care that we provide our patients.”

As vice chair, Straughn will lead a group of faculty who have the ability to implement and promote practice change. He will lead and create new quality initiatives, increase departmental representation on quality committees, create training and career development opportunities for faculty and trainees, and monitor the quality and safety efforts in the department.

“All of us are familiar with his leadership and commitment in the area of quality in women's health,” says Huh. “Without question, he and his team have been instrumental in the department's approach and strategy in regard to quality care and patient safety.”