The Department congratulates Assistant Professor of Radiology Ben Mervak, MD, CIIP, for his selection among six UNC School of Medicine (SOM) faculty to participate in the 2020-2021 Institute of Healthcare Quality Improvement (IHQI) Improvement Scholars Program. Over 12 months beginning in September 2020, Dr. Mervak will serve as Project Lead for his proposed project — Improving Radiologic Communication and Follow-up: Implementing and Increasing Participation in an Epic-Based Communication and Tracking Tool. At the conclusion of the 2020-2021 project period, Improvement Scholars present project results at the annual IHQI Improvement Scholars Symposium and pursue publication of their results in an academic or professional journal.

The IHQI’s Improvement Scholars Program provides structured, experiential learning for project leads to acquire clinical improvement leadership skills by facilitating their self-proposed and designed project over 12 months. Through training, mentorship, and guidance from IHQI Faculty Coaches and Project Managers, Improvement Scholars learn the process of serving as clinical improvement mentors to other faculty to improve patient care and outcomes.

Dr. Mervak joined the Department’s Division of Abdominal Imaging in 2017. As our Department’s Chief Medical Informatics Officer, he has used his knowledge of imaging informatics to make improvements in day-to-day radiological workflow within systems like Epic@UNC /Radiant, and contributed to the launch of automated clinical decision support at UNC. His 2020-2021 UNC IHQI Improvement Scholars Program project is intended to improve the reporting of important radiologic results to ordering clinicians and improve patient outcomes.