Quality improvement at ATS 2012

Kristin Riekert, PhD

Kristin Riekert, PhD

More than 100 quality improvement (QI) research projects are being presented at ATS 2012. In fact, ATS International Conference attendees can learn about more QI projects than ever during two poster discussion sessions and a symposium today and Wednesday.

“QI is, in some ways, the perfect topic for the ATS,” said Kristin Riekert, PhD, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. “QI tends to be multidisciplinary. ATS, and its International Conference, is very multidisciplinary.”

Dr. Riekert is leading the effort to highlight QI with Jeremy Kahn, MD, MS, associate professor of critical care, medicine and health policy, University of Pittsburgh.

The poster discussion sessions will divide QI projects into two groups.

Jeremy Kahn, MD, MS

Jeremy Kahn, MD, MS

“Quality Improvement in Pulmonary Medicine,” from 2 to 4:30 p.m. today in Room 2014, West Building (Lower Level), Moscone Center, will include projects on screening practices, discharge bundles, outreach programs, action plans and decision tools to lower readmissions and improve health outcomes.

“Quality Improvement in Critical Care Medicine,” from 2 to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday in Room 131, North Building, (Lower Level), Moscone Center, will include projects on early mobilization programs, processes and protocols to decrease time-to-treatment initiation, ventilator weaning practices, minimal sedation protocols, safety culture in the ICU and activating a rapid response team.

A 2 to 4:30 p.m. symposium today, “Quality and Performance Measures: The Future of Healthcare,” is geared toward pulmonary and critical care physicians who work in intensive care units or care for patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. In addition to reviewing the evidence and state of the art for QI, speakers will look at the value of future of performance metrics for improving care. They will also address the importance of public reporting of compliance with performance metrics and utilization of risk adjusted mortality as a performance metric. The symposium will be in Rooms 304-306, South Building (Esplanade Level), Moscone Center.

For the novice, ATS will offer a Sunrise Seminar, “Introduction to Quality Improvement,” from 7 to 8 a.m. Wednesday in Room 206, South Building (Mezzanine Level), Moscone Center.

“Much of the work in QI is done at a local or regional level, but it should be shared internationally—just like other science and health research,” Dr. Kahn said. “That’s what we aim to do at the International Conference.”