Ensuring continuity of care: Team seeks to improve patient transitions

Dec. 18, 2013 College News - The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) of Southeast Wisconsin has awarded a $25,000 “Innovations in Healthcare Delivery Pilot Model Grant” to improve the communications between resident physicians as the care of patients is transitioned between residents.

Jessica Kuester, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine) at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), is the primary investigator of the grant.  Dr. Kuester sees patients at the Zablocki VA Medical Center.

The grant is aimed to improve the transition process between physicians taking care of hospitalized patients.  When internal medicine residents at MCW finish their day, they prepare sign-out documents for their colleagues to aid in the care of their patients overnight.  The Feedback to Achieve Safe Sign-Out Techniques (FASST) proposal is designed to improve the quality of those documents.

In this project, Dr. Kuester’s team will utilize a structured checklist for the assessment of sign-out quality and provide direct feedback to the teams on their specific sign-out documents.  The overall goal is to demonstrate that improvement in the quality of the sign-outs increases patient safety.  If this process is found to be successful, future plans would be to help facilitate this process throughout the other departments at Froedtert & the Medical College.

The “Innovations in Healthcare Delivery” grants are supported by the Medical College Physicians, MCW’s physician practice group caring for adult patients, and the CTSI.  The fundamental goal is to stimulate innovative pilot projects that promise to measurably and meaningfully improve delivery of healthcare in terms of clinical quality, patient experience, value and efficiency.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

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