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Leading the Nation in Patient Safety and Quality

By Paul B. Rothman, M.D.

Delivering patient- and family-centered care is a key aim of the Johns Hopkins Medicine Strategic PlanA critical focus of this priority is patient safety and quality, specifically to eliminate preventable harm and optimize patient outcomes and experiences while reducing health care costs.

As a national leader in patient safety and quality, we have made impressive strides in these areas with several recent initiatives.

The Johns Hopkins Medicine Patient Safety and Quality Dashboard

First, the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality launched the Johns Hopkins Medicine Patient Safety and Quality Dashboard in April, a new internal tool for our employees to assess their clinical areas’ performance and progress on patient safety and quality indicators, such as hospital-acquired infection rates and proper hand hygiene.

Later this year, additional measures, such as readmission rates and safety culture survey results will be incorporated into the dashboard and some information will be available to the public.

Chief Quality Officers

To further support the patient- and family-centered care strategic priority, the Armstrong Institute recently appointed several physician leaders to the new post of chief quality officer for the following areas:

  • Ambulatory Practices: Steven Kravet, president, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians 
  • Ambulatory Procedural: Michael Zenilman, vice chair and regional director of surgery, National Capital Region 
  • International: John Ulatowski, vice president and executive medical director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International 
  • Pediatrics: Marlene Miller, vice chair of quality and safety, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

Our new chief quality officers will align efforts across Johns Hopkins Medicine member organizations to standardize care and implement best practices in patient safety, quality improvement and service excellence. In the future, additional chief quality officers will be appointed for other key clinical areas.

Training the Next Generation

For the next generation of physicians and hospital leaders interested in making quality and safety a central theme in their careers, we have established several training opportunities. The Armstrong Institute Resident Scholars (AIRS) training program provides mentorship and education in the science of safety to a select group of residents and fellows within Johns Hopkins Medicine. A year-long elective program, the goal is to prepare participants to lead the changes that our health system needs to eliminate preventable harm, improve outcomes and reduce waste in care delivery. A six-month patient safety fellowship is also offered.

Analytics Leadership Program in Patient Safety

Additionally, we have a one-year elective cohort program called the Analytics Leadership Program in Patient Safety (ALPS) that aims to train future leaders to apply advanced clinical analytics to transform the safety and quality of care. Open to our employees, this hands-on program trains participants in the technologies deployed at Johns Hopkins Medicine for analytics as well the theories and methodologies related to health care data compilation, analysis and use.

Annual Patient Safety Summit

Our work is paying off. As just one example, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center has dramatically improved its performance in preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections over the past several years, with rates consistently above the nationally reported benchmark for similar institutions.

And in June, we will hold our fifth annual Patient Safety Summit, a daylong gathering in which hundreds of health care professionals from across our health system come together to learn about their colleagues’ work in reducing patient harm and fostering a culture of safety.

Through all of this meaningful work, we are demonstrating a collective commitment to achieve the goal of zero preventable harm across Johns Hopkins Medicine and lead this change across the nation.

Related Patient Safety and Quality Resources