On Friday, April 14, over 150 members of the Keck Medicine of USC community gathered on the Health Sciences Campus to attend Keck Medical Center’s first-annual quality symposium.

The theme of the symposium was “Embrace, Engage, Empower,” and the event was designed to bring together influential leaders and experienced medical practitioners to share strategies and innovations in health care quality, patient safety and performance improvement.

“This was an opportunity for health care professionals to embrace quality as a priority, engage in the study and implementation of improvement, and empower all in our mission to deliver high-quality, high-value and culturally sensitive care,” said Stephanie Hall, MD, MHA, chief medical officer for Keck Medical Center.

The idea for the symposium began in 2019. At that time, the medical center’s Quality and Safety team wanted to provide a venue to share and collaborate on a variety of quality topics.

Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, plans for the symposium had to be put on hold. But in 2020, the team reignited interest in the symposium, and a small committee began to finalize and move the project forward.

The committee envisioned an interprofessional event that would bring together physicians, residents, nurses, allied health professionals and other members of the Keck Medicine community to discuss how best to serve the health and safety concerns of the enterprise’s patient and employee population.

“Another wonderful development that made the symposium possible was a generous donation a grateful patient made to the CMO Development Fund,” Hall said. “In keeping with the donor’s inspiration of supporting quality and patient safety, these funds allowed us to support the event venue, lunch, and offer continuing education credit and a networking session that was free to all registrants.”

This year’s symposium was opened by Steven D. Shapiro, MD, senior vice president for health affairs at USC. Tarina Kang, MD, MHA, chief medical officer for USC Verdugo Hills Hospital moderated the morning session of speakers, which included Amy A. Ross, PhD, a co-founding member of the USC Lambda LGBTQ+ Alumni Association; Tom Bates, MBA, RN, chief quality officer for the health system; Joseph Szokol, MD, executive director of the Faculty Development Mentoring Program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC; and Steven R. Grossman, MD, PhD, deputy director of cancer services at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The keynote speaker, Steven Greenberg, MD, the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine’s Jeffrey S. Vender Endowed Anesthesiology Chair of Research and Education, and a board member of the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation, spoke on the history and future of patient safety within anesthesia and its application across all health care environments.

The symposium received a total of 38 project submissions. The projects fell into one of the following quality domains: Patient Safety; Clinical Quality Improvement; Health Care Equity and Inclusion; and Access and Efficiency. Of the submissions, five received top honors. These included:

  • Patient Safety: “Know Your Poop! How to Effectively Use Stool Documentation in the Electronic Medical Record to Capture Clostridioides Difficile Infections Before It’s Too Late!”
  • Clinical Quality Improvement: “Promoting High-Value Practice in Liver Transplantation with Patient Blood Management Initiatives.”
  • Clinical Quality Improvement: “Development and Implementation of an EHR-Integrated Refill Authorization Program in an Academic Health Center.”
  • Health Care Equity and Inclusion: “Reducing Barriers to Living Donation by Increasing Access to Living Donor Financial Assistance.”
  • Access and Efficiency: “Optimizing Patient Flow in the Cardic Surgical Intensive Care Unit and Telemetry Unit Through Care Transformation.”

“Our vision is to offer this symposium on a yearly basis to inspire and engage all health care professionals to focus on a culture of improvement and to deliver high quality, safe patient care,” Hall said.

To view the presentations, click here.

—Matthew Vasiliauskas