Academic Medicine

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Academic Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31823f3c2c
Patient Safety

Perspective: A Road Map for Academic Departments to Promote Scholarship in Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Neeman, Naama MS; Sehgal, Niraj L. MD, MPH

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Abstract

The fields of quality improvement and patient safety (QI/PS) continue to grow with greater attention and awareness, increased mandates and incentives, and more research. Academic medical centers and their academic departments have a long-standing tradition for innovation and scholarship within a multifaceted mission to provide patient care, educate the next generation, and conduct research. Academic departments are well positioned to lead the science, education, and application of QI/PS efforts nationally. However, meaningful engagement of faculty and trainees to lead this work is a major barrier. Understanding and developing programs that foster QI/PS work while also promoting a scholarly focus can generate the incentives and acknowledgment to help elevate QI/PS into the academic mission. Academic departments should define and articulate a QI/PS strategy, develop individual and departmental capacity to lead scholarly QI/PS programs, streamline and support access to data, share information and improve collaboration, and recognize and elevate academic success in QI/PS. A commitment to these goals can also serve to cultivate important collaborations between academic departments and their respective medical centers, divisions, and training programs. Ultimately, the elevation of QI/PS into the academic mission can improve the quality and safety of our health care delivery systems.

© 2012 Association of American Medical Colleges

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