For Carolyn K. Holland, M.D., M.Ed., quality improvement is about giving the right care to the right patient at the right time. Since she joined the UF College of Medicine department of emergency medicine in 2012 as the physician director of quality, she has revamped and expanded the peer review process, developed a comprehensive quality improvement/patient safety curriculum for the residency program and strived to incorporate transparency and the “Just Culture” philosophy into the patient safety reporting process.
“A goal of all quality improvement is to make it easier to succeed than it is to fail,” said Holland, who is an assistant professor and splits her clinical time between the pediatric and adult emergency departments. “You have to work to not do the right thing.”
One way Holland has influenced quality improvement is with the creation of the quality emergency services team, QuEST. The committee, which is made up of nurses, residents, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and attending physicians, meets twice monthly to discuss quality and patient safety issues in the three UF Health emergency rooms in Gainesville and to review the progress of smaller topic- specific performance improvement teams.
“Quality improvement is really the hot button issue in medicine right now. Hospitals are now being graded and potentially paid based on the quality of care as opposed to the quantity of care,” she said. “If we can get all of our providers — physicians, nurses and techs — to be on the same page, then we’re going to improve patient outcomes across the board.”