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Conference spotlights HRO progress, sets stage for population health

From left, Renee Fekieta, PhD, Heidi Rillstone, RN, John Boyce, MD, Nicole Colandrea and Melissa Costa of the surgical antibiotic prophylaxis team were congratulated by Victor Morris, MD, vice president, Physician and Patient Access Services, and associate chief medical officer. The team also included Jeffrey Topal, MD, Kimberly Davis, MD, and Alan Ruskis, MD.
From left, Matthew Grossman, MD, and Camisha Taylor, RN, represented their team's abstract on neonatal abstinence syndrome at the conference, where they were congratulated by Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, senior vice president, Patient Services. The team also included Adam Berkwitt, MD, Rachel Osborn, MD, and Matthew Bizzarro, MD.
Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, senior vice president, Patient Services, (standing, left) recognized YNHH CAUTI-reduction team members (l - r): Melani Semlow, RN, John Boyce, MD, Liana Kappus, Harry Byrne, RN, Judy Petersen, RN, Susan Reynolds, RN, Kathleen Ruotolo, RN, Michael Aniskiewicz and Ena Williams, RN, vice president, Patient Services. Seated, l - r, are: Peggy O'Brien, RN, Sharon Klein, RN, Sandy Fillion, RN, and Kelly Grimshaw, RN. Missing from photo: Tom Balcezak, MD, chief medical officer, Louise Dembry, MD, Jeannette Bronsord, RN, Rita-Marie Rossetti, RN, and Lauren Edwards, RN.

Remarking on the inspiring work to enhance patient care in which Yale New Haven Health System employees have participated over the past year, YNHHS President and CEO Marna Borgstrom welcomed a record-breaking audience of 885 to the 2015 Joseph A. Zaccagnino Patient Safety and Clinical Quality Conference May 19 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport.

She urged each employee to reach out across the system to share experiences and learn from one another "to improve quality and to ensure our patients' safety as we make Yale New Haven Health a destination for safe, effective care."

The conference committee accepted 184 poster abstracts, the largest number in the event's 14-year run. The top award was presented to a team from Bridgeport Hospital for their project to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). A YNHHS team received runner-up for work on implementing an alcohol withdrawal treatment protocol. Additional recognition was given to network winners from Yale New Haven Hospital for abstracts addressing surgical antibiotic prophylaxis, CAUTIs and neonatal abstinence syndrome. Greenwich Hospital also was named a network winner for work on reducing patient falls, and Northeast Medical Group for a team abstract on improving transitions of care. Check the YNHHS intranet for the winning abstracts.

Alan Kliger, MD, YNHHS senior vice president and chief quality officer, provided perspective on the system's progress toward becoming a high reliability organization (HRO).

"Our commitment to our high reliability journey started in 2012 with the first steps to create an overall culture of safety, to introduce the behaviors and techniques needed to bring us down to zero events of harm," he said. Dr. Kliger stressed that the road to HRO is a multi-year journey with its success rooted in the five techniques of CHAMP: communicate clearly, handoff effectively, pay attention to detail, mentor each other and practice and accept a questioning attitude.

Keynote speaker Bruce Flareau, MD, president, BayCare Physician Partners, described the clinical and regulatory challenges his Florida-based organization encountered while building clinically integrated networks to prepare for population health and a value-based reimbursement environment. Amanda Skinner, executive director, Clinical Integration and Population Health Management, closed the conference with an inspiring look at population health management for YNHHS.

"We need to create and drive a culture of well-being, keeping people well and as healthy as they can be, through health care that is integrated and of high value with partners that share our values," she said.