Website spotlight: Buy-in, incentives move patients faster

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, April 20, 2012

Despite sustained attention from hospital leaders, wait times in the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) ED were considerably longer than desired. Knowing that longer wait times means poor patient satisfaction and a higher risk of poor health outcomes, a team of resident physicians set out to find innovative strategies to decrease wait time.

What they found can probably be applied to many quality improvement projects: education, buy-in, and incentives work.

Most importantly, remembering that people run the show, not systems, processes, or data, is critical to success.

"Don't count out the human aspect," advises Gene Quinn, MD, MS. Quinn and 10 of his fellow residents participated in the health systems and leadership track of their residency. The track-a two-year program developed by Arpana Vidyarthi, MD, and currently run by Read Pierce, MD, both faculty in UCSF's Department of Medicine-allows selected residents to spend part of their training preparing for leadership careers in health systems improvement. "A large portion of that [track] is quality improvement and patient safety training," says Quinn.

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