Olaniyan explores how health care organizations are wired for excellence


THE WINDOW - Sustaining a quality journey within a health care organization is a complex, multifaceted process. This summer, participants in the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s (JHF) and Health Careers Futures’ Patient Safety Fellowship sought to uncover the DNA of healthcare organizations that are wired for excellence. To do that, the Fellows delved into the emerging field of health implementation science, and studied teams that have been recognized for sustaining and spreading quality within and beyond their organizations: winners of the Fine Awards for Teamwork Excellence in Health Care. 

The 2018 Patient Safety Fellows, a cohort of 34 graduate students and professionals from 17 different disciplines, interviewed nearly two-dozen past Fine Awardees who launched successful quality improvement projects across various care settings. Under the guidance of Joel Stevans, PhD, DC, a senior implementation scientist at the University of Pittsburgh Health Policy Institute, and a team of JHF staff, the Fellows used the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research Constructs (CFIR) to identify constructs that were part of sustaining and spreading Fine Award-winning projects. The Fellows examined factors such as policies and incentives; organizational culture and structure; individual values and beliefs; and the planning, execution, and evaluation of projects. 

Throughout the analysis, various organizations began to emerge as leaders in quality improvement. Using their learning around QI standards and the themes across sites, the Fellows nominated nine finalists who could receive recognition as winners of the 10th Anniversary Fine Awards. 
On July 25, the Patient Safety Fellowship concluded with a presentation of the preliminary findings of the research and a presentation of the Fine Award finalists. The preliminary findings included an initial breakdown of the sustainability and spread of the Fine Award winning QI projects at the various organizations, and a synthesis of the themes into the CIFR domains. The Fellows presented their cases for the finalists and voted for three organizations they each felt were most wired for excellence. The session concluded with reflections by Fellows about their learning in implementation science and quality improvement over the course of the summer. 

“My participation in the Patient Safety Fellowship has given me the skills to identify characteristics of organizations with quality cultures and assist organizations that may lack particular characteristics of quality to improve and meet the recommendations of the healthcare culture," said Jessica Maneer, MHA candidate at Point Park University. 

“The diversity of the Fellows and the staff provided a rich environment to learn not only about Lean principles and implementation science, but also [to learn] from one another,” said Steven Guo, who recently graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor’s in decision science. “Going forward, I feel prepared to use my new skills in implementation science to conduct and lead quality improvement projects in perfecting patient care.” 
The winners of this year’s 10th anniversary Fine Awards will be recognized on August 27 as part of a JHF Board meeting.

PHOTO CAPTION - During a July 25 session, Patient Safety Fellows (L-R): Krissy Moehling, Abisola Olaniyan, Vaishali Shetty, and Fahmida Hossain present a case study of a healthcare organization that sustained and spread its quality improvement work.

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