Hospitalists as Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety (HELPS): Lessons Learned and Future Directions

1Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
2Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, and VA/UM Patient Safety Enhancement Program, Ann Arbor Veterans Administration/University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
3Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, and Center for Practice Management and Outcomes Research, Ann Arbor VA Health Services Research &
Development Center of Excellence, Ann Arbor, MI
4Division of General Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Meeting: Hospital Medicine 2008, April 3-5, San Diego, Calif.

Abstract number: 98

Background:

The emergence of hospitalists has resulted in large numbers of patients being cared for by small cadres of physicians. Most hospitalists and hospital medicine programs participate in and in many cases coordinate quality improvement and patient safety activities in their respective hospitals. Targeting safety efforts at a few key hospitalists at each institution would thus potentially affect the care of many patients. With this premise in mind, we created the Hospitalists as Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety (HELPS) consortium with funding from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation.

Purpose:

To describe the implementation and results of a novel, hospitalist‐based patient safety and quality improvement consortium.

Description:

The HELPS consortium consisted of a hospitalist lead and a patient safety or quality improvement representative from each of 9 health care systems in southeastern Michigan, representing a diverse group of hospitals. The aim of the consortium over its 2‐year life was to provide rapid dissemination of best practices in patient safety through regular group meetings and to facilitate the implementation and analysis of hospitalist‐led patient safety initiatives. The first meeting consisted of a methodological primer on safety improvement; the next 7 were devoted to different substantive patient safety‐related topics, such as prevention of device‐related infections, creating a culture of safety, care transitions, medication safety, fall prevention, perioperative care, ICU safety, and end‐of‐life care. Participating institutions were free to implement any of the best practices and had access to the expertise of the HELPS coordinating site. When describing its patient safety initiative, each institution identified the key barriers and facilitators encountered while implementing its project. Common themes emerged among both barriers and facilitators (Table 1); these themes were explored in the final meeting. Another purpose of this consortium was to disseminate knowledge regarding best practices. We used surveys to measure dissemination; consortium participants answered on average 84.2% of the questions correctly.

Table 1. Barriers and Facilitators for the Adoption of Best Practices

Conclusions:

By partnering hospitalists and patient safety personnel from diverse institutions across southeastern Michigan, HELPS successfully disseminated knowledge regarding best practices and identified barriers and facilitators faced by hospitalists and institutions attempting to improve safety. The next step is to transform the hospitalist consortium based on what was learned into a robust quality collaborative. In this collaborative, high‐impact interventions with strong evidence would be identified, and then relevant physicians, nurses, and hospital staff would be brought in to improve outcomes simultaneously at all participating sites.

Author Disclosure:

S. Flanders, none; S. Kaufman, none; S. Saint, none; V. Parekh, none.

To cite this abstract:

Flanders S, Kaufman S, Saint S, Parekh V. Hospitalists as Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety (HELPS): Lessons Learned and Future Directions. Abstract published at Hospital Medicine 2008, April 3-5, San Diego, Calif. Abstract 98. Journal of Hospital Medicine. 2008; 3 (suppl 1). https://www.shmabstracts.com/abstract/hospitalists-as-emerging-leaders-in-patient-safety-helps-lessons-learned-and-future-directions/. Accessed July 22, 2019.

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