F. Kayser Enneking, M.D., was interested in patient-centered quality care before there was a term for it.
A UF College of Medicine professor of anesthesiology and orthopaedics and rehabilitation, Enneking has focused her career on developing programs to improve patient care both in and outside of the O.R.
“I’ve always been interested in how we could do this better for the all of our patients,” she said. “Figuring out how to fix a problem not just for one patient but all those that follow has really been a passion of mine. As a clinician it is important to have things run well for patients. You can’t help but want to make it better. You can’t work in any system without seeing where the holes in the system are and wanting to plug the holes and make it better.”
Enneking has “worn a lot of hats” over the years, including being the chair of the UF College of Medicine Department of Anesthesiology and the Chair of the UF Health Shands Board Quality Committee. She has made significant contributions in many areas. Her first institutionwide effort was in eliminating a high risk medication, Demerol, from common use in the 1990s.
“That was an interesting endeavor because Demerol was widely used throughout the institution and there was a great deal of misunderstanding about its safety margin,” she said. “I learned a lot about change management through that project. Education and communication are a good start but nothing beats a hard stop.”
Currently, she is overseeing the Perioperative Coordinated Care project, bringing the triple aim of improved patient experience, improved population heath and reduced costs to our surgical patients.
One of the ways the project has improved care is through over-the-phone presurgical assessments for low risk patients and reserving in-person appointments for high-risk patients. This improves the experience of all the patients by improving the flow through the clinic for the higher-risk patients while providing greater convenience for low-risk patients. This year, the project’s team is working with physicians, nurses and others who care for patients with diabetes. The goal is to improve these patients’ glycemic control before surgery, thus improving the quality of care provided.
“The most important way to keep patients happy is to keep them safe,” she said. “It is our responsibility to be searching for ways to keep them safe.”