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World Hospice and Palliative Care Day

Smart Tools for QI Initiatives

SHM’s Quality Improvement Resource Rooms support hospitalists as QI leaders

The role and recognition of the hospitalist has evolved tremendously in the past 10 years, and hospitalists continue to be called upon to lead at their institutions, particularly in quality improvement initiatives. Based on their unique role within the hospital system (a job that requires interaction with many levels of hospital staff) hospitalists are clearly positioned to lead such efforts. As part of SHM’s dedication to promote the highest quality of care for the hospitalized patient, SHM’s Resource Rooms provide members and non-members alike access to information that will aid their knowledge in quality improvement around specific disease states. Currently, SHM provides four Resource Rooms: Venous Thromboembolism (VTE), Stroke, Antimicrobial Resistance (ABX), and Heart Failure. Two additional rooms, Geriatrics and Glycemic Control, will launch this fall.

Quality improvement for the patient will be successful if a systems-based multidisciplinary collaboration within the hospital is improved. Hospitalists are leading this challenging yet exciting opportunity to change the face of healthcare. It has been noted that medical school and residency training have failed to prepare the hospitalist for this leadership role. To this end, SHM provides users of the Resource Rooms with information describing how a specific disease state affects the population and explains why a hospitalist should act in initiating change, as well as what key knowledge, skills, and attitudes the hospitalist should possess. The user is offered information regarding didactic and bedside teaching, patient education, and opportunities for continuing medical education. These resources are useful for the novice as well as for the advanced hospitalist leader. Readers can also apply the concepts of these general mechanisms to any disease state they are seeking to improve at their institutions.

The QI workbook within each of the Resource Rooms is the most important feature and serves as a field guide to implementing a quality improvement program. The workbook includes the following aids:

  • Essential first steps: garnering institutional support, assembling a team, developing team rules, and understanding the framework for improvement;
  • Conducting an in-depth analysis of current processes and failures;
  • Collecting data and devising metrics to assess the impact of your QI initiative;
  • Moving from problems to solutions; and
  • Continuing to improve: monitoring and learning from the process, as well as holding the gains and spreading your improvement

Other important resources that are common to all of the rooms and will aid in leading the QI efforts of the hospitalist are the educational features. Complex problems need multidisciplinary solutions. The “Improve” and “Educate” areas of the Resource Rooms include information that allow the hospitalist to teach and be taught. In the “Improve” section, a user can find QI Theory slide sets on the foundations of quality improvement initiatives and core measures on specific disease states.

Didactic sessions and teaching tools, as well as professional development, including core competencies and CME opportunities, are all present in the “Educate” feature of each room. For example, in the Heart Failure Resource Room, a didactic session slide set concerning the management of heart failure for hospitalized patients is provided. The slide set includes a heart failure overview that describes the epidemiology, etiologies, and objectives surrounding the management of acute congestive heart failure.

Evidence, improvement, and education tools designed to enhance inpatient outcomes can help the hospitalist develop and lead initiatives that can create a more cost-efficient approach to the treatment of hospitalized patients, while at the same time improving patient outcomes. SHM’s Quality Improvement Resource Rooms provide a compendium of resources to support the hospitalist who is embarking on this enormous task.

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