Lessons, connections and improvements: Wrapping up Quality Month 2022

November 1, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees, ,

Approximately a 5-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • Fifty-nine posters were featured at this year’s Quality Month Symposium, along with a handful from affiliate organizations U-M Health West and MyMichigan.
  • The themes for this year’s event were just culture and psychological safety. Discussion on these topics was kicked off by keynote speaker Jo Shapiro, M.D., FACS.
  • This year’s Jack Billi award honoree was Scott Ciarkowski, PharmD, MBA.

Michigan Medicine quality and safety work was put in the spotlight this October at the 24th annual Quality Month symposium. Throughout the month, faculty and staff were given the opportunity to participate in learning sessions, network and share quality and safety improvement stories.

As November begins and Quality Month wraps up, it’s time to look back at some of the highlights.

An online success

Although this year’s event was held virtually, participation proved to be plentiful. Fifty-nine posters were featured, along with a handful from affiliate organizations U-M Health West and MyMichigan. Altogether, more than 420 faculty and staff were represented through the work.

Teams presented their improvement work at poster sharing sessions held throughout October, answering questions and sharing their successes along the way.

Poster projects demonstrated quality and safety improvements, whether in patient care or organizational systems and processes. All posters aligned with the organization’s BASE strategic priorities while also touching on each Michigan Medicine core value.

“Even though Quality Month took place in an online setting, the enthusiasm and engagement from faculty and staff was remarkable,” said Chief Quality Officer Brook Watts, M.D., M.S. “The hard work put into each poster and colleagues supporting each other’s work truly shows the dedication to quality and safety at our organization.”

To take a look at all posters shared in October, visit this link.

Just culture and psychological safety

The themes for this year’s symposium were just culture and psychological safety, two important topics that were discussed at the beginning of the month.

Jo Shapiro, M.D., FACS, an associate professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at Harvard Medical School, kicked things off with a keynote address on fostering psychological safety in our organizations. She discussed the fundamentals of psychological safety and made the case as to why it is so crucial in the health care field. Participants were encouraged to think of ways they could individually and organizationally contribute to a culture of trust and respect.

To continue the discussion, attendees heard from Nicole Templeton, administrative director of the Office of Patient Safety, who shared information in a focused learning session on Just Culture and Michigan Medicine’s plans to adopt.

Kathrynn Thompson, high reliability lead, also conducted a panel discussion on just culture and psychological safety. Panel members included nurses, physicians and administrators.

The Quality Department will also be offering a new course on Just Culture that will begin in the winter. If you are interested, you can pre-register here.

Concluding the event

Toward the end of the month, two resident teams shared their work in quality improvement and patient safety during Internal Medicine’s Grand Rounds. Topics included “Improving Osteoporosis Screening Rates at MM” and “Penicillin Allergies: Demystifying the Delabeling Process.”

The last week of October included a networking session, which served as an opportunity for participants to share ideas, discuss challenges and barriers, and celebrate successes.

Jack Billi Award

For the third year, Quality Month concluded with the presentation of the Jack Billi award.

The award is named for Jack Billi, M.D., a longtime U-M physician and faculty member who has had a tremendous impact on organizational quality improvement work. It was established to recognize someone who exhibits the passion for quality improvement that Billi inspired.

This year’s honoree is Scott Ciarkowski, Pharm.D., M.B.A., the manager of pharmacy quality and safety. According to the nomination form, Ciarkowski is a “quality champion” in his department with an impact across multiple departments throughout the institution. He is said to “tackle opportunities to improve head-on by using pure inquiry skills, routinely visiting the Gemba, and being very clear and cautious in instances where he needs to disagree or question current state.”

Ciarkowski was honored on Oct. 27 at the Quality Month wrap-up session. If you would like to view the celebration or any other Quality Month sessions, visit the Quality Month YouTube page.

Digital certificate ‘badge’

New this year is the awarding of digital certificates, or badges. Individuals earned badges for attending events, submitting posters, presenting or being nominated for the Jack Billi Award for Inspiring Quality Improvement.  

If you only attended events, you’ll need to make sure you are registered at this link. This is just one small way to recognize your commitment to improvement.  

If you have questions on this or anything else related to Quality Month, please send an email to Quality-Month@med.umich.edu.

Thank you to all faculty and staff who made this year’s Quality Month a success!

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