Inaugural Quality Improvement Symposium brings a packed house

How many people can squeeze into the Magnolia Room in Terrace Dining?

As it turns out, a lot.

Packed with posters, food and attendees, the inaugural Quality Improvement Symposium debuted Thursday, May 7, with a space full of members of the Augusta University Health System community.

Celebrating each others’ work, those in attendance had to worm their way throughout the crowd to see all of the improvement projects on display.

Quality improvement in health care works to enhance safety, effectiveness and efficiency for each patient. For Augusta University that work is a top priority, and the symposium is a way to bring attention to quality improvement and inspire new projects.

“We’ve done such great work over the past couple of years, and I’m so thrilled with how well this turned out for our first time doing this,” said Dr. Phillip Coule, interim vice president and chief medical officer for AU Health. “I think it’s fantastic we get to share some of the great work we’ve been doing over the past couple of years, and I’m looking forward to this being an annual event.”

The event saw three winning projects whose teams were awarded cash prizes, to help with future projects.

First place won $2,000 for their project titled, “Making Central Lines SAFER: A Multidisciplinary Program to Improve Outcomes for Resident-Performed Central Venous Access.”

Second place winners also impressed the judges with their project, “Why the Foley? The Impact of a Nurse-Driven Protocol for Indwelling Urinary Catheter Removal in Hospitalized Adult Patients,“ receiving $1,000, with third place taking home $500 for the project, “Eliminating Tracheostomy Tube-Related Pressure Injuries in Adults.”

The grant money comes from the Augusta University Medical Center and will not only help with growing those projects but will help to drive future quality improvement efforts.

With a foundational mission of providing leadership and excellence in teaching, discovery and clinical care, highlighting the work being done for quality improvement is essential to the core values of AU.

“There is a lot of work being done on behalf of patients by everyone at this institution to improve the quality and safety of the care we deliver,” said Dr. Michael Groves, assistant professor and Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery residency program director at the Medical College of Georgia. “We expect it will grow even more as people become more and more excited about the idea of quality improvement and make it part of their daily routine — thinking about quality and patient safety.”

This year’s symposium is just one example of how much quality improvement projects have expanded over the last couple of years.

What started as residents collaborating to create interdisciplinary quality improvement projects has developed into a systemwide symposium thanks to the new sponsorship by AUMC.

“I was working with the Office of Graduate Medical Education, on their Quality Improvement Subcommittee, and we realized there were a lot of resident-driven projects that were being done for quality improvement that no one really knew about,” Groves said.

Borrowing the idea to host a symposium to showcase this work, Groves took these quality improvement projects to leadership within the hospital, and their decision was immediate.

“They jumped on board and said, ‘Let’s open this up to everyone. We’ll make it hospital-wide, and the hospital will sponsor it,’” Groves said. “That was the innovation for this — although we borrowed the idea, we innovated the fact that we were encouraging future projects by rewarding the top three presented projects.”

For more photos from the event take some time to browse the complete gallery on Augusta University’s Box Folder.

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Emily Lacey
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Emily Lacey

Emily Lacey is a writer in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144 elacey@augusta.edu.

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Emily Lacey Written by Emily Lacey

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