Patient Safety Fellowship Takes a Fresh Look at the Persistent Problem of Medical Error

Harms related to preventable medical error remain a leading cause of death in the United States, but health care has been slow to adopt solutions that have shown promise in other complex industries to create safer outcomes. To foster and inspire future leaders who can advance a safer, technology-enabled future, the Jewish Healthcare Foundation's 2022 Patient Safety Fellowship explores pathways to bring innovative safety solutions to health care.

The future of patient safety will be shaped by those who can creatively use new and existing technologies to better promote safer care. This summer's 29 fellows — representing 12 different universities and 18 different disciplines — come from diverse backgrounds and are excited to delve into patient safety solutions.

Since June 1, the Fellowship has been exploring the problem of patient safety through a variety of lenses. The curriculum has been designed using the Up Next for Patient Safety podcast as a jumping point to delve into critical issues and novel solutions. The initial sessions provided overviews of the history of efforts to improve patient safety, and outline some of the current challenges and stakes for addressing systemic patient safety issues. Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD, Jewish Healthcare Foundation CEO and president, kicked off the program introducing fellows to the decades-long work of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative, and the recent efforts to establish a National Patient Safety Board. Martin Hartlie, JD, president and CEO of Project Patient Care and Director of MedStar Institute for Quality and Safety, supplied additional context to fellows about the current state of patient safety and the work to integrate patient-advocates into ongoing efforts.

Week three featured a panel on tech-enabled Lean for quality improvement in health care. Tina Hahn, MSW, vice president of CIN Development and Value-Based Integration at Allegheny Health Network; Tania Lyon, PhD, director of Organizational Performance Improvement; and Ken Segel, MBA, CEO & managing director of Value Capture, shared examples from their work in applying quality improvement strategies. In week four, Jonathan Gleason, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Prisma Health, and Raj Ratwani, PhD, director of MedStar Health National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare and vice president of Scientific Affairs at MedStar Health Research Institute, shared their experience using human factors engineering in health care. Week five explored opportunities for the present and future of big data analytics and technology with Michael McShea, MBA, group chief scientist at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

Participants have valued the opportunity to engage with leading experts and to learn from each other. 2022 Fellow Anna Solomon, a third-year student in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program at Duquesne University, shared, "The fellowship has been an invaluable experience thus far. Between their seasoned leadership and the resolve and creativity of the fellows, I am certain significant progress will be made in this initiative. As a future clinician, I am excited to use what I have learned to be a force for change within my own practice."

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