Tell us about your experience and focus on clinical safety and quality.
Clinical safety and quality has always been a particular interest for me. To provide the best care for our patients, we must identify problems in the system that are affecting their care while also identifying solutions and implementing them. My training highlights my commitment to quality and safety: I’ve participated in TeamStepps Master Training and the Association of American Medical Colleges Teaching For Quality training. I’ve also completed the Patient Safety Executive Development Program at the
Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Intermountain Advanced Training Program in Healthcare Delivery Improvement.
What led you to the role of CQO?
I come from a military family whose motto is “Identify the problem and fix the problem.” We rarely went anywhere — whether it was going on vacation or to a sporting event — without a detailed discussion of the preparation and execution of the plan. And we’d prepare for if the said plan doesn’t go well, what are the contingency plans? And to this day, that’s kind of how I operate in general. The first half of my career was very much about advocacy, and as someone who sits predominantly in the inpatient world, I’ve had the opportunity to see when communication or coordination of care doesn’t go well. When quality and safety impacts your patients, I think for most physicians, the natural inclination is to fix the problem. So stepping into the role of CQO just feels like a natural progression for me in terms of identifying a problem, finding solutions and advocating for both our patients and their health care providers.
What’s your vision for our UF Health goal of “Quality as Job 1” in your new role?
My vision is that we improve quality and safety across the continuum of care, which we have been working on diligently and seeing major improvements throughout the system. When a patient enters UF Health, whether that’s through the E.R. or through the OR, I want their experience to be seamless and safe from start to finish.
What priorities are on your agenda?
Three priorities for me in this role include:
- Communication between everyone providing care to patients
- Data transparency
- Resource utilization that leads to decreased waste and cost within the system
Is there a program that means a lot to you that you hope to work on more while in this role?
The second victims program, Care for Colleagues, is very important to me. Care for Colleagues provides support to our health care workers in all disciplines after an adverse or traumatic event, which can be emotionally challenging. It’s well-documented in the literature that physician wellness affects patient quality and safety. So for me, it’s not just about the patients, it’s about all of us. The idea is that you’re a peer supporter helping to provide psychological first aid for a colleague. It is important to have all disciplines represented.