Quality Month poster session was poppin!

October 27, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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This year’s Quality Month celebration culminated with a poster sharing event in Towsley Lobby on Tuesday afternoon. Nearly 60 teams from across the organization came together to highlight the important projects they’ve been working on to improve patient care and patient outcomes at Michigan Medicine.

For nearly two hours, faculty and staff packed the room to peruse the posters and speak with representatives from each project about the work they had accomplished.

“It’s amazing to be a part of an event like this – you look around the room and see how many different things people are trying to improve at any one time and it’s truly impressive,” said Bill Palazzolo, PA-C, director of clinical operations, department of surgery. “But it isn’t surprising. Michigan Medicine is a gold mine for people wanting to improve patient care and patient outcomes.”

Palazzolo was part of a team whose poster, “Creating Evidence-Based Guidelines to Reduce Excessive Opioid Prescribing After Surgery,” earned the 2017 Exemplar Award for this year’s Quality Month event.

“We wanted to develop evidence-based guidelines for opioid prescriptions following surgery,” said Palazzolo. “Believe it or not, there are no guidelines for how many pills to prescribe to a patient after surgery. On average, for the type of gallbladder surgery we looked at, patients were prescribed 50 opioid pills and using only six. That meant 44 were ending up either in someone’s medicine cabinet or diverted into the community.

“So we educated prescribers on how many pills to prescribe, we educated patients on what pain tolerance level was normal and what should lead them to taking an opioid, and we also educated them on how to dispose of unused pills. Since the program started, we’ve reduced the number of unused pills by 15,000 without any change to pain scores and no increase in refills – and that’s only for one specific type of surgery. We’ve shared these guidelines with 75 other hospitals, so we’re making a difference not only here at Michigan Medicine but across the entire state.”

The Quality Month poster session is designed so teams, like Palazzolo’s, can share knowledge and best practices with others across Michigan Medicine.

“Quality Month is a time for us as an organization to stop and focus on all of the great process improvement work that’s being implemented by so many of our faculty and staff,” said Kevin DeHority, chair of the Quality Month committee. “It was great to see so many teams presenting their discoveries and equally as great to see all of our senior leaders who attended the poster session to support all of the teams.”

For a full list of posters presented at this year’s event, visit the Quality Month website. And check out the photo gallery above to see pictures from the event!