MedStar Health Awarded Grant to Improve Hepatitis C Diagnosis and Treatment

Columbia, MD (December 17, 2018) Diagnosis-related events are the single largest root cause of medical professional liability claims, according to the Coverys report, Dose of Insight: Diagnostic Accuracy – Room for Improvement.  The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc. (Foundation) put out a call to action and distributed a request for proposals for projects focused on improving diagnostic accuracy. The Foundation put aside $3 million in funding for approved projects.  Through this process, the Foundation hoped to stimulate projects that demonstrate new approaches and have the greatest potential to produce replicable processes for achieving prompt and accurate diagnosis.

The Foundation received an overwhelming response to the request for proposals and MedStar Health’s proposal, titled “Improving diagnostic accuracy for Hepatitis C with a validated teach/improve model” was one of the 11 grant recipients selected for funding. 

Chronic hepatitis C viral infection (HCV) has been dubbed the ‘silent killer’ due to its largely asymptomatic nature until progression results in noticeable, often irreversible impact on the patient’s health.  The MedStar project seeks to improve accurate and timely diagnosis of HCV and facilitation of comprehensive treatment within the primary care setting.  The work aligns with goals contained in the Maryland Department of Health Hepatitis C Strategic Plan, which includes a 4-pronged approach that encompasses prevention and education, testing, treatment and strengthening the disease surveillance system.

The project will be led by Dr. Christine Goeschel, assistant vice president for quality at MedStar Health and director, Center for Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety and Dr. Dawn Fishbein, scientific director, Viral Hepatitis Research, MedStar Health Research Institute.

A list of the 11 grant recipients and their projects can be found here.

For more information on the Foundation, visit www.coverys.com.

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About MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety
The mission of the Medstar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS) is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by Medstar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MIQS provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line care givers, patients and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit www.medstariqs.org.  

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

About the Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc.
The Coverys Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc. provides grant funding and donations to organizations and innovative programs that improve patient care and safety, promote healthy lifestyles, and support individuals and organizations providing healthcare services. The development of the Foundation exemplifies Coverys’ dedication to being an affirmative and active corporate citizen in the healthcare community and the communities in which it operates.

Contact:

Katie Carlin
Sr. Director, Business Development and Planning
Phone: 410-772-6796
[email protected]

The Telluride Experience – Not Your Typical Patient Safety Training – Part Two

By Stacey Gonzalez

In my previous blog post, I described the unique immersive experience The Telluride Experience (TTE) program delivers and the profound impact it has had on over 1,000 resident physicians and health science students that have gone through the workshop.  But the immersive environment and varied teaching modalities is only half the story.  

During my time with TTE, I have repeatedly witnessed how deeply personal patient stories and engagement of patient and family advisors throughout the 4-day workshops are essential to truly changing learners’ attitudes and actions. 

Patient stories are incredibly powerful in an industry where patients are often seen as a set of ailments rather than a person.  And while impactful stories have been central to the curriculum since its inception, TTE goes even further.  Imagine hearing a life-altering medical story, and then discussing the event directly with the patient or family member who was (and is) living it every day. 

Patient and family advisors are an invaluable part of our TTE family, and it’s hard to forget after attending that every patient and family member is a valuable part of your healthcare team.

Students learn about leading-edge patient safety topics from internationally renowned leaders at TTE, but (again) it goes even further.  Daily social activities and group outings afford learners additional opportunities with faculty to continue discussions or ask questions.  We often hear how some of the most meaningful lessons occurred one night around a fire pit, or while over a drink at happy hour, which is hard to find at typical programs.

And finally, Telluride Experience alumni are embraced by a community of like-minded colleagues for ongoing support or collaboration long after departing.  But (once more) it goes even further, and that partnership is formed not just among the learners themselves, but with the faculty and patient advocates who remain an email or phone call away. 

We hear from alumni, years later, how TTE helped them improve care and safety at their own institutions or how it changed the way they engage with and care for their patients.  We are proudly entering an era where TTE alumni are returning – this time as faculty members or small group leaders.

Whether you’re reading this as a prospective student, alumni, Dean, administrator, or anyone looking for an exceptional patient safety program, we hope you’ll consider learning more, applying, or supporting our program.  We rely on your word of mouth, referrals, and financial support to continue our mission. 

Additionally, please check out our new book, Shattering the Wall: Imagine Health Care without Preventable Harm, which tells the TTE story through the voices of our faculty and learner reflections.  All book sale profits go directly to supporting scholarships for future students and residents.

Dr. Chris Goeschel Featured in Expert Panel to Combat Diagnostic Error

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority convened a panel of some of the nation’s top experts in the field to discuss how to improve the diagnostic process. Featured on the panel was Dr. Christine Goeschel, Director, MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, Center for Improving Diagnosis in Healthcare. The panel discussed a broad range of topics, including whether the current payment system is structured in a manner that prevents diagnostic error, what influence the fear of malpractice cases has over providers, and how much responsibility is appropriate for patients to assume.  Read more.

MedStar Health Honored for Eliminating Patient Deaths

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation teamed up with the Carter Foundation for the fourth consecutive year in an initiative to eliminate patient deaths and awarded three hospitals based on their commitment to save the most lives. The prize is a private fishing trip with former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter. This year’s top three hospitals are: 1. MedStar Health (Columbia, Md.). Saved 225 lives. 2. Parrish Medical Center (Titusville, Fla.). Saved 110 lives. 3. Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City.). Saved 75 lives.  Read more.

MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety Announces Six New Faculty Appointments

Columbia, MD (September 26, 2018) — The MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety is pleased to announce the appointment of six new faculty members. Individuals with faculty appointments join a diverse community of patient safety and healthcare quality advocates and leaders who are developing and implementing programs that advance healthcare quality and ensure the safety and wellbeing of patients, their families and healthcare staff.

The six new faculty appointments consist of three core appointments and three associate appointments. Core Faculty make substantial time commitments to advancing the mission of the Institute and represent local, national and international leaders in quality, patient safety, healthcare education, patient advocacy, and policy development. Associate Faculty are employees or credentialed staff affiliated with MedStar Health who are subject matter experts and seasoned practitioners who are advancing their expertise in the areas of healthcare quality and safety. 

The six new Institute faculty members are:

Core Faculty:

  • Bonnie Levin, PharmD, MBA, assistant vice president, Pharmacy Services, MedStar Health
  • Nargiz Muganlinskaya, MD, MMS, FACP, associate program director, MedStar Health Internal Medicine Residency
  • Emilie Murray, MD, JD, MPH, FCLM, attending physician and patient safety operations coordinator, MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

Associate Faculty:

  • Cory Feldman, BS, administrative officer, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
  • Tony Calabria, MA, CPHQ, CSSBB, clinical quality & regulatory programs director, MedStar Health
  • Lynne Karanfil, RN, MA, CIC, FAPIC, director for Infection Prevention, MedStar Health

 “Each new faculty member brings to the Institute a unique background, expertise and passion for making health care safer,” said David Mayer, MD, vice president of Quality and Safety for MedStar Health. “We are extremely honored to welcome this diverse and accomplished team of faculty to our Institute. As faculty members, they will be able to further enhance their individual knowledge and skill while collaborating with international leaders in the fields of patient safety and clinical quality.”

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About MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety
The mission of the Medstar Institute for Quality and Safety (MIQS) is to partner with patients, their families, and those that take care of them to improve patient care outcomes and reduce the global burden of preventable harm. Established by Medstar Health, the largest healthcare provider in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, MIQS provides a global infrastructure in which leaders, front-line care givers, patients and family members jointly develop, educate, assess, and advocate for patient safety and clinical quality initiatives. For more information, visit www.medstariqs.org.  

About MedStar Health
MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Contact:

Katie Carlin
Sr. Director, Business Development and Planning
Phone: 410-772-6796
[email protected]

Michelle Malizzo-Ballog: Never Forgotten

By Tim McDonald, MD, JD

A miraculous moment took place at 4 pm on the evening of April 25, 2012.

In the picture above, I am holding a watch in my right hand while standing next to Barb Malizzo at a recent CANDOR Event in Dana Point, CA. Barb was one three patient and family speakers who brought the patient voice into the room for the health system that had commissioned us to teach them the value of open, honest communication in healthcare. The watch is a symbol of the power that results from that open, honest, and effective communication with patients and families following patient harm.

Exactly four years earlier, on April 25, 2008 Michelle Malizzo-Ballog died in the Intensive Care Unit at the University of Illinois, where I worked as the Chief Safety and Risk Officer for Health Affairs with my friend and colleague, Dr. Dave Mayer. Michelle died as a result of a multitude of medical mistakes that resulted in our failure to rescue her. She suffered a respiratory and then cardiac arrest brought on sedative medications. Michelle died after several days of heroic measures in the ICU had failed to restore any neurologic function.

At the time of her death, we discovered the multitude of mistakes that occurred, and openly and honestly shared them with Michelle’s family. I found myself in the critical, yet important position of conveying all we knew, including the errors, to the family, and particularly to Barb and Bob Malizzo, Michelle’s parents. Their sadness and anger were palpable, yet their desire to maintain contact was clear and obvious. They did not want to be abandoned and, instead, remained open to an ongoing dialogue as we all struggled to make sense of this horrific catastrophe that changed so many lives forever. We promised to stay with them and not to abandon them.

We periodically stayed in contact by phone, and we eventually met in person for lunch in the spring of 2009, one year after Michelle had passed. At that time, we invited Bob and Barb and their youngest daughter, Krissy, to join the Medical Staff Review Board at the University of Illinois. This committee was charged with the review and development of solutions for serious safety events at the Hospital. Michelle’s family agreed to this appointment and joined as the “conscience of the community” – thereby meeting our ongoing promise to stay with them while they helped make sure what happened to Michelle did not happen to other people.

On April 25, 2012 – on the four year anniversary of Michelle’s death, Bob and Barb came to the Medical Staff Review Board meeting with 3 small packages – they handed one to me, one to our Director of Safety and Risk Management, Nikki Centomani, and one to Bonnie, the nurse who had so kindheartedly and tenderly care for Michelle in the ICU.

Bob and Barb explained that these presents had been given to us for the honesty, compassion, and empathy we had provided them from the time of Michelle’s initial cardiorespiratory arrest, up until this moment in 2012, four years later.

When we each opened our own package, we found, to our immense surprise, beautiful Movado watches with “Michelle Malizzo Ballog 4-25-08” inscribed on the back. At that moment I tearfully promised the Malizzos I would wear the watch at all patient safety presentations and workshops going forward – as a symbol of the trust and the love we have for each other – while never forgetting Michelle. This was a miraculous, powerfully healing moment for our care giving team, and I hope, for Barb and Bob as well.

Today, now more than 9 years after Michelle’s death I did a presentation about CANDOR at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. I wore the watch. I remembered Michelle…