Over the years, UNC’s Department of Anesthesiology has established a Patient Safety/Quality Improvement (PSQI) culture that is promoted internally and respected across UNC Health Care. In early 2016, the Department found a path for developing an infrastructure-based process to execute PSQI initiatives. As one of only five UNC Health Care units chosen for its investment in PSQI, the Department was invited to participate in the Value Stream (VS) Pilot Program sponsored by UNC Heath Care’s Department of Operational Efficiency.
Anesthesia Technicians and Technologists (ATs) have long worked alongside peri-operative nursing staff under the supervision of UNC Medical Center (UNCMC)’s Surgical Services. Their roles in the OR with anesthesiologists and CRNAs are similar, enough so to warrant recent discussion that they join the Department of Anesthesiology’s network of anesthesia care providers.
In early June, Department of Anesthesiology Chair’s Executive Assistant Kathy Sutton thought little of being pulled aside to discuss with Department leadership some to-dos likely related to the many roles of her position. Little did Kathy know, the meeting served as a means to keep her occupied while co-workers set up a surprise celebration to recognize her 25 years of employment at UNC.
When approached by Dr. Zvara and the UNC School of Medicine (SOM) Capstone director about developing an anesthesia boot camp, Associate Professor of Anesthesiology Dr. Ty Bullard jumped at the chance. Increasingly, medical school departments across the nation offer wide-ranging practical skills courses for MS4s. But in a twist, Bullard pushed to develop a curriculum targeting not only MS4s entering anesthesiology, but also those headed into other specialties.
In the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)’s new milestones era, the Practice-based Learning and Improvement Milestone requires “incorporation of quality improvement (QI) and patient safety initiatives into personal practice.” Since the 2012-2013 academic year, Vice Chair for Education, Dr. Harendra Arora has worked with PSQI-involved faculty members to assign clinical anesthesia (CA)-2 residents to faculty-led, team-based Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (PSQI) projects that teach them perioperative process improvement.