Post-mortality survey brings new opportunity for patient care improvements

November 9, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership, ,

Approximately a 2-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • A new post-mortality survey will lead to system care improvements following the difficult circumstance of an inpatient death.
  • The initiative supports the “Safety and quality” strategic priority at U-M Health.
  • The survey only takes a few minutes and all caregivers who receive it are encouraged to fill it out.

As the second quarter of FY23 begins, initiatives aligning with U-M Health’s BASE strategic priorities are being implemented across the organization.

To support the ‘S’ — or Safety and quality — priority, many departments are working together to solicit feedback from front-line caregivers about opportunities and best practices for enhancing patient care at Michigan Medicine.

One way this is being done is through a “post-mortality survey,” a helpful resource allowing caregivers a chance to voice opportunities for system care improvements following the difficult circumstance of an inpatient death. 

What is a post-mortality survey?

Within 48 hours of a death in the inpatient setting, an electronic survey is sent to team members involved with the last few days of the patient’s care. The survey includes many different care-based questions.

As this resource becomes widely spread to caregivers, it is important to recognize its use as separate from the safety event reporting process. The safety event reporting process should always be used if there are any concerns about patient safety and/or deviations from standard processes of care. On the other hand, the post-mortality survey is sent to caregivers only after an inpatient death. However, both resources can be used to identify areas for care improvements.

Looking ahead 

The recently implemented post-mortality survey is aimed to be one of many sources for achieving the overall safety and quality goals of care we provide, in accordance with the organization’s commitment to high reliability.

“The purpose of this survey is not to place blame on providers or judge quality of care,” said Sandeep Vijan, M.D., M.S., program director for quality analytics. “Instead, we want to use this as an opportunity to learn how we might make care better.”

The survey establishes a pathway for all involved to collaborate, recognize areas of opportunity and ultimately provide the highest quality of patient care possible.

“This is an exciting new launch for our department,” said Senior Director of Quality Linnea Chervenak, M.H.A. “We are thrilled to support the BASE initiatives in safety and quality and to provide the chance for our experienced and dedicated caregivers to lend their voices to this important topic.”

Those inpatient caregivers who receive the survey are encouraged to fill it out. It will be delivered by email through the survey application called MiCart, and only takes a couple of minutes to complete.