What carried me through, however, was the collective and infectious DIY—no, QIY (Quality Improve-it-Yourself) attitude of the group. We were all learning, and regular participation in the collaborative essentially guaranteed improvement. We achieved our aim of 90% communication with PCPs within two days of discharge. The secret was simple: The more you do, the more you learn.
Pediatric hospitalists can transform care delivery through a focus on safe and quality care, but the tools to accomplish this must come through post-residency, on-the-job learning. This QI know-how must efficiently spread among our ranks through practical and project-based educational efforts. It’s “see one, do one, teach one,” but we’re not talking about lumbar punctures anymore.
This is a journey in which we all take on the responsibility of rolling up our sleeves and simply learn by doing. And here is where the third leg of my as-yet-unfinished QI course unfolds.
Through my involvement with the Value in Inpatient Pediatrics (VIP) Network, I’ve gained a newfound vision for what the future might hold. VIP has evolved from a benchmarking project focused on bronchiolitis to an improvement network that will incorporate projects similar to the discharge handoff collaborative above.
In the process, a model for how to rapidly spread QI learning has emerged. The capacity lies in the network’s rapidly growing connectivity. The power comes from the individuals: motivated, card-carrying pediatric hospitalists from a wide array of sites. Collaborative learning harbors the potential to exponentially increase the pace at which we improve.
The future of our quality care is bright. I see an open network of improvement doers and learners. I see collaboration on quality and safety initiatives in all manner of hospitals and communities. I see that this will all be built upon a foundation of hard work and a QIY attitude.
You, too, will play a role.
Just don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty. TH
Dr. Shen is medical director of hospital medicine at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas. He is pediatric editor of The Hospitalist.