Patient Safety: A Case Study in Team Building and Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Authors

  • Bernard J. Horak PhD FACHE CPHQ,

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    • Bernard Horak is professor and Director of the Health Systems Administration Programs at Georgetown University in the School of Nursing and Health Studies. Dr. Horak also has been the Director of Total Quality Management and Strategic Planning at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

  • Joyce Pauig RN,

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    • Joyce Pauig is the clinical supervisor of the Medical Unit (4-South) at The George Washington University Hospital, Washington, DC. Prior to this position, Ms. Pauig was a staff nurse there.

  • Ben Keidan MD,

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    • Ben Keidan is the cochief medical resident in the Department of Medicine at The George Washington University Hospital. Prior to this position, Dr. Keidan was a primary care internal medicine resident there.

  • Jennifer Kerns MD

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    • Jennifer Kerns is the cochief medical resident in the Department of Medicine at The George Washington University Hospital. Prior to holding this position, Dr. Kerns completed a 3-year categorical medicine residency there.


bjh28@georgetown.edu or by phone at 202/687-4209

Abstract

This case report presents specific steps taken to address potential patient safety problems, particularly those regarding collaboration between nurses and house staff at The George Washington University Hospital. Issues affecting patient care (e.g., lack of communication and teamwork) were identified through interviews, focus groups, and observations. The actions taken were team-building meetings that included a sensitivity session; coaching with nursing managers; and ground rules for nurse and physician collaboration. This report also describes the agenda for the team-building meetings, results, and lessons learned for implementation at other sites.

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