My name is Nika Harutyunyan and I am the 2020-2021 Chief Resident in Quality and Safety (CRQS). I first became interested in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety during my medical school years where I realized that small impactful changes can lead to big outcomes. Additionally, I was interested in how these changes and change concepts can ultimately help improve mortality outcomes by way of improving hospital systems.
The CRQS position is a national VA position that encourages teaching and leadership within residency programs to improve the care of patients. This position within UCLA is unique because it is also bridged by the UCLA health system to allow this chief resident education and change structures within multiple health systems. I am looking forward to learning, teaching, and hopefully making impactful changes during this unique year!
All UCLA residents are trained in quality improvement to engage and empower them to serve as agents of change in healthcare. The Department of Medicine and UCLA Health both have robust quality programs with ample opportunities for housestaff involvement, education, and mentoring.
Quality improvement is an emerging priority in medical education, as physicians all need the knowledge and skills to assess the quality of their practices and identify and implement improvements in patient care. Just as the intensivist in the ICU must work with her interdisciplinary team to reduce central-line associated blood stream infections, so too must the primary care physician work to ensure his patients receive timely colorectal cancer screening.
The UCLA Internal Medicine Residency QI curriculum includes both seminar format didactics and experiential, mentored, team-based QI proposals and projects.
QI techniques taught include:
All residents are involved in the selection, design, and discussion of a firm quality improvement project, and several residents from each firm have the opportunity to serve as QI leads and receive additional training, experience and mentorship.
We have developed a quality dashboard for the inpatient teaching service and outpatient resident primary care practice panels. Residents have access to group-level performance data as well as their own individual data, including peer comparison. Through a practice feedback curriculum, they are taught how to interpret this data to reflect on their own practice, identify gaps in care, and implement improvements. All housestaff therefore gain experience in practice audit and feedback, panel management, and ambulatory-based quality improvement.
All housestaff participate in Rapid Mortality Review (RMR), an innovative process to conduct near real real-time, structured reviews of inpatient deaths with a multidisciplinary team of front-line providers. RMR has proven extremely effective in identifying systems issues and opportunities for improvement in end-of-life care. It has inspired a number of quality action items and had educational and humanistic value.
In 2011, the DOM Quality Program established the Housestaff QI Scholarships, awarding 5-6 housestaff a year. These residents receive additional quality training and mentoring, design and implement a quality project and present their results at Medicine Grand Rounds. Some have also presented their work nationally and/or published.
Residents participate in hospital quality and safety processes such as event reporting and root cause analysis of adverse outcomes. They are also involved in a number of quality initiatives targeting patient safety, such as the Safe Discharge Best Practices Pathway, standardized central line training, a three-year simulation curriculum including interdisciplinary team training, an “Inpatient Checklist” targeting CAUTI and VTE prevention, and standardized signout and handoff processes.
UCLA’s residency program has an active “Physicians for Responsible Ordering (PRO)” chapter, which has organized a number of educational and value-based care improvement initiatives, such as multi-site cost-of-care case conferences and weekly feedback on lab ordering costs to wards teams. The Division of General Internal Medicine-Health Services of Research recently launched the UCLA Value Based Care Research Consortium.
UCLA Health is a leader in quality and safety. Housestaff can participate in a wide variety of hospital initiatives, which include reducing mortality, improving outcomes measures, value-based care redesign, enhancing the patient experience, reducing readmissions, and strengthening patient safety. Residents also participate in hospital quality and safety processes such as event reporting and root cause analysis of adverse outcomes.
The Housestaff Quality Improvement Council (HQIC) is a housestaff-led quality improvement council supported by Executive Leadership. The council provides a venue to target quality improvement issues, strengthen collaboration between departments, and provide exciting academic opportunities.
The UCLA Healthcare Improvement Institute, a collaboration between UCLA Health Operations and the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, provides quality and Lean training to providers and staff in certificate-based programs led by instructors and coaches from the Performance Excellence department.
If you have any questions about Quality, Safety and Value in UCLA residency training, please contact Dr. Wendy Simon at [email protected].