The HM09 vignette described how the hypernatremia that occurs with diabetes insipidus could be used in a novel way to control intracranial pressure in a 17-year-old patient who had a traumatic brain injury from an auto accident.
“She had a beautiful outcome,” Dr. Tassava says. “She started college and she came back to our unit for a visit after her recovery.”
Dr. Tassava enjoyed the opportunity to explain to her peers how diabetes insipidus presented and how she managed the case. “I was a little surprised at how much discussion was generated by my case,” she says, “even though I knew this was an important and novel approach.”
When her hospital added intensivists, her work and research in the ICU ended and her career moved more toward hospitalist administration. She now runs the academic consult service at St. Joseph, serves as lead physician for the orthopedic surgery floor, instructs and mentors medical residents, and chairs the hospital’s Coagulation Collaborative Practice Team (Coagulation CPT). She credits the RIV honors with helping her to gain recognition as an academic hospitalist who was nominated for leadership roles. She has moved out of research for now but plans to pursue anticoagulation research in the future.
“I really appreciated the recognition for my curiosity and scientific approach, which was acknowledged by my surgical colleagues,” Dr. Tassava says. “I absolutely love the CPT. I am the hospital’s principal educator with regard to anticoagulation. Over the past year, I have given medicine and cardiology grand rounds, and have presented on the newest anticoagulants.”
Dr. Tassava still collaborates with her residents on abstracts, several of which have been submitted to SHM, the American College of Physicians, and other medical societies.
“I still love research,” she says. “I have a million ideas.”
Title: Chief of the division of hospital medicine; senior vice president, SHM’s Center for Innovation and Improvement
Institution: University of California at San Diego (UCSD)
RIV: “Prevention of Hospital-Acquired Venous Thromboembolism: Prospective Validation of a VTE Risk Assessment Model and Protocol” (research)
Citations: Maynard G, Stein J. Designing and implementing effective VTE prevention protocols: lessons from collaboratives. J Thromb Thrombolysis. 2010;29(2):159-166. Maynard G, Morris T, Jenkins I, et al. Optimizing prevention of hospital acquired venous thromboembolism: prospective validation of a VTE risk assessment model. J Hosp Med. 2010;5(1):10-18.
Dr. Maynard’s abstract described a project funded by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to design and implement an organized, comprehensive protocol for VTE prevention within the hospital setting. The project also included a toolkit to help other hospitals do the same thing. The same group received SHM’s Award of Excellence for Teamwork.
This work, combined with similar efforts by Jason Stein, MD, and colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta and others, provided the foundation for SHM’s VTE resource room and the mentored implementation program of SHM’s VTE Prevention Collaborative, which had been launched in 2007 as one of the society’s first large-scale quality-improvement (QI) initiatives.
“SHM wanted to do something about VTE prevention, and when we got our AHRQ grant, I was interested in doing the same,” Dr. Maynard says. “We published our implementation guides on the AHRQ and SHM websites, along with a lot of valuable supporting materials.”
Dr. Maynard later took on leadership roles with SHM’s quality initiatives on glycemic control and care transitions, which made him the logical choice to become senior vice president of SHM’s Center for Hospital Innovation and Improvement.
He says the RIV honor lifted his profile not only within SHM, but also throughout the field, and it was instrumental in obtaining continued funding to advance the VTE initiative. “We did this tremendous work—with great results,” he says. “But I don’t think our local administrators appreciated it quite as much until we started to get external, national recognition.”