UMC Brackenridge will be the first hospital in the U.S. to offer medical residents and students the opportunity to learn the most advanced patient safety techniques and procedures, thanks to a $75,000 grant from The Doctors Company Foundation.
Seven UMCB physicians will be safety trained so they, in turn, can lead and educate more than 175 other hospital doctors.
That means the grant from the foundation, created in 2008 by The Doctors Company, the nation’s largest insurer of medical liability for physicians, surgeons and other health professionals, will ensure UMC Brackenridge’s new The Doctors Foundation Company Patient Safety Educator Program can be ongoing while educating safety leaders among the next generation of doctors. The program will roll out over the next several months.
“This program will lay the groundwork for ongoing safety education for residents and established medical staff by creating a group of physician safety leaders. Ultimately, these leaders will serve as change agents for safety to the rest of the established medical staff,” said Kate Henderson, UMCB vice president and chief operating officer.
“This program will be critically important for medical residents – our medical school graduates now training here to become practicing physicians. Making patient safety a top priority is the basis for that well-known axiom among doctors: First, do no harm,” said Dr. Sue Cox, University of Texas Southwestern regional dean, Austin.
The seven physicians will be trained first and ultimately will lead this project. They will be selected from different disciplines of medicine, such as internal medicine, surgery, anesthesia, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine and pulmonary/critical care. The aim is to maximize the reach of these physician safety experts throughout the hospital.
“These individuals will provide ongoing leadership and support in advancing this new safety program in conjunction with the hospital’s Quality and Safety Department, as well as serve as leaders in resident and student safety education throughout our facility,” said Janet Smith, the hospital’s site quality and safety director. Her staff will evaluate the program annually and recommend any necessary changes.
For this portion of the project, the seven physicians will complete 16 Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Open School courses to become certified in the latest safety techniques and procedures. Each physician then attends at least two seminars with titles such as Advanced Patient Safety Program and Reducing Patient Harm from Sedation.
Over the next two years, about 150 University of Texas Southwestern medical residents will rotate through UMCB. So will 48 third-year medical students from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. At least 90 percent of each group will complete the IHI Open School course work under the guidance of the seven mentoring physicians.
Each student also will identify a safety issue or problem, formulate a practical solution and, if possible, implement it.
The purpose of The Doctors Company Foundation is to support patient safety research, forums, and pilot programs; patient safety education programs; and medical liability research. Charitable grants will be considered for qualified entities or individuals whose projects support the Foundation's goal to reduce patient risk and improve the environment in which doctors and all health care providers practice.