Hospitalists as emerging leaders in patient safety: lessons learned and future directions

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Hospitalists as emerging leaders in patient safety: lessons learned and future directions

OBJECTIVE To examine the results of a multi-institution, hospitalist-centered consortium designed to disseminate knowledge of best practices relevant to patient safety and to facilitate institutional innovation around such practices. METHODS The Hospitalists as Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety (HELPS) consortium consisted of a hospitalist lead and a patient safety representative from each of 9 health care systems in southeastern Michigan. The consortium’s aim was to provide rapid dissemination of best practices in patient safety through regular group meetings and to facilitate implementation and analysis of hospitalist-led patient safety initiatives. Key safety targets included prevention of device-related infections, creating a culture of safety, care transitions, medication safety, fall prevention, perioperative care, intensive care unit safety, and end-of-life care. Participating institutions were free to implement any of the best practices and had access to the expertise of the HELPS coordinating site. Surveys were used to assess knowledge dissemination among participants. RESULTS Participating institutions described their patient safety initiative and identified several key barriers and facilitators encountered during implementation. Common themes emerged among both barriers and facilitators. In postmeeting surveys to measure dissemination, consortium participants answered a mean of 84.2% (SD = 19.2) of the questions correctly. CONCLUSIONS The HELPS consortium successfully disseminated knowledge regarding best practices and identified common barriers and facilitators faced by hospitalists and institutions attempting to improve safety. The next step is to transform the consortium into a robust quality collaborative that leverages key facilitators and prospectively addresses barriers to implementing high-impact interventions in a multihospital setting.

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