The Northwestern Medicine Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement (AQSI) recently received the American Association for Physician Leadership 2015 Leape Ahead Award for its innovative projects that teach residents, fellows, faculty, nurses and other healthcare professionals about quality improvement.
The annual award honors Lucian Leape, MD, a leader in efficient, effective and caring delivery of medicine in the U.S.
“This is hard work, to put together this program, so winning this award is really encouraging to us. The award signifies that we’re addressing a need that is of broad interest and that our program is high-quality,” said Kevin O’Leary, MD, chief of Medicine-Hospital Medicine.
AQSI, a seven-month professional development program, started as a collaboration between the Department of Medicine, the Masters Program in Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Performance Improvement Department.
“AQSI fills a need that’s present in most academic medical centers, which is that medical students, residents and other learners need training in quality improvement,” said Dr. O’Leary. “However, the challenge is that we don’t have a lot of faculty to teach them. If we teach them in the classroom and then they go to the wards and their role models aren’t on board with quality improvement and patient safety, that informal curriculum trumps the formal curriculum.”
The program accepts health care professionals that want to solve a problem in a clinical area and form a team to work on the project. The first group of participants completed the program in 2013 and their projects have included evaluating the evidence-based treatment of neutropenic fever and spin-off projects such as improving the treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.
“Our goal is to create leaders of quality improvement,” said Dr. O’Leary. “A large portion of the AQSI participants have gone on to continue to lead heath care quality initiatives.”
Dr. O’Leary plans to expand the program to invite participants from other departments and clinical partners in the Northwestern Medicine community.
There will be an AQSI Class of 2015 Poster Session and Reception held Thursday, May 21, from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Krumlovsky Atrium, Feinberg Pavilion, 3rd floor.
Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 18.