When Kendall Rogers, MD, signed up for his first mentored implementation project, he remembers being skeptical. After all, it seemed too good to be true. “I wanted to ask, ‘What’s the catch? Are you trying to get us to adopt a certain practice?’ ” says Dr. Rogers, a hospitalist at the University of New Mexico Health Science Center School of Medicine in Albuquerque.
Now, after participating in SHM’s Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prevention Collaborative and later mentoring other hospitalists in SHM’s Glycemic Control Mentored Implemen-tation (GCMI) program, he understands the motivation.
“Mentored implementation is unique in that it accomplishes two goals,” he says. “It improves the nuts and bolts of a project, and it also creates new hospitalist leaders and quality-improvement [QI] experts.”
Prior to his work in the VTE Prevention Collaborative, Dr. Rogers had little exposure to QI programs. He has since implemented a VTE prevention program at his hospital, and his mentorship of hospitalists in the GCMI program is helping to create custom programs to optimize glycemic control protocols. He also is a faculty member for SHM’s QI and patient-safety pre-course and is leading SHM training sessions on VTE prevention.
The mentored implementation model, he says, is an effective way to get over many of the daunting roadblocks that can stand in the way of a hospitalist-led QI program. “Many people need that spark,” Dr. Rogers says. “This is a highly effective way to be that spark. I’ve seen too many people get disillusioned and frustrated with quality-improvement programs and give up. In these programs, the mentor can help identify and address roadblocks.”
What is Mentored Implementation?
In theory, mentored implementation is a unique and simple approach to both education and QI in healthcare. At its core, mentored implementation is the pairing of a program participant with a subject-matter expert who already has been involved in similar programs and will help the participant implement a QI program of their own.