Comprehensive change requires great leaders at all levels. A
concept Jeffrey Glasheen, MD understood, which is why he was named director of
the University of Colorado’s Institute for Healthcare Quality, Safety and
Efficiency (IHQSE). Tasked with the mission of creating a healthcare system
that ensures every patient receives the highest quality of care through
avoiding harm and minimizing inefficiencies, Dr. Glasheen is helping the
Anschutz Medical Campus develop leaders who can facilitate lasting and sustainable
changes at the front lines of care.
The IHQSE was formed to improve care outcomes for patients
served by the School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital Colorado and the
University of Colorado Hospital (UCH). The program’s design also helps position
Anschutz for larger—and inevitable—changes the organizations will face as
health care evolves.
Dr. Glasheen guided the Anschutz leadership committee
overseeing the IHQSE to embrace fundamental principles, which include the
development of a long-term view that crosses all institutional missions and an
inter-professional, funded approach focusing on inspired, “dogged” leadership.
A Phased Approach Facilitates Comprehensive Cultural Change
The first and primary arm of the IHQSE is clinical team
development, which will identify and train a physician and nurse champion for
every unit, clinic and program on campus. In 2013, twelve teams began the
program (eight at University of Colorado Hospital; four at Children’s Hospital Colorado).
In three to five years, the hope is that every clinical care area will have its
own clinical QSE team.
The teams are trained to unite interdisciplinary and
inter-professional members using quality improvement methodology. The QSE team leaders
complete a one-year certificate training program with 80 hours of core
curriculum leading to the implementation of a mentored quality improvement or
patient safety project. Dr. Glasheen’s team helps support the QSE leaders with
infrastructure and educational needs, providing dedicated coaching and
mentoring as well as process improvement managers and data analysts. Together,
QSE team leaders and their support team can map out the essential functions of
their units and identify and implement strategies for improvement.
Dr. Glasheen believes it’s imperative for the people doing
the work to identify inefficiencies, communication breakdowns, patient
bottlenecks and frustrations, and more.
“I’ve seen teams pinpoint very simple and rectifiable issues
that can make a major impact through cost reduction, improved quality or
improving patient satisfaction,” said Dr. Glasheen. “When individuals are
empowered to identify issues, and they have resources enabling them to improve,
the entire institution benefits. Our patients are safer and happier.”
Dr. Glasheen credits his dedicated team for successfully
implementing the initial arms of this comprehensive program. It’s his personal
goal to facilitate a program that can serve as a model for other institutions
that will fundamentally impact and improve quality of care across the nation.
“It’s really cool to see how small changes add up to make
massive improvements. The university is at the cutting edge in this area, and
our system for change management is sustainable. It’s exciting to see how
leaders at all levels develop to improve the patient experience,” said Dr.
The training and development portion was the first step
toward implementation of the comprehensive IHQSE strategy. For more
information, contact Dr. Glasheen.