The Value Institute Academy celebrated the completion of the 20th ACT course on Dec. 2 at the John H. Ammon Medical Education Center with four teams of interprofessional learners reporting on their performance improvement projects.
ACT (Achieving Competency Today) is a graduate-level interdisciplinary approach to the science of improvement through experiential learning. Over the years, more than 70 ACT project teams have been taught a framework for identifying and analyzing opportunities for improvement in health care settings .
“What started in 2005 as an experiment has continued to grow and has become one of the liveliest, most enriching and – in my opinion – the best professional education and development program at Christiana Care,” said Neil Jasani, M.D., MBA, FACEP, chief academic officer and vice president of Medical Affairs of Christiana Care.
“Hats off to this year’s team of course facilitators, including Carol Moore, Christine Sowinski, Thea Eckman, Teri Foy and Loretta Consiglio-Ward,” he said.
As part of the 12-week curriculum, team members tackle a medical problem by gathering data, talking with stakeholders and designing a test intervention and then measuring the effect. The program is offered twice a year.
“The way you have done this work on issues of health care quality, cost, systems and safety is exemplary,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and chief executive officer of Christiana Care. “Congratulations to all of you, particularly those of you who have been involved in teaching this important work, for so many years.”
For the ACT teams – and the 29 learners – the most recent projects had an overarching theme of improving communication in targeted medical areas. Each of the investigations was given a catchy title, with the projects exploring how to:
- Improve the medication order clarification process for Internal Medicine residents and the Department of Pharmacy (Is There a Doctor in the House?).
- Increase the number of documented “goals of care” discussions on two Christiana Care medical units, 5A and 6A. (Tackle the Bear – Discuss Goals of Care).
- Improve the consultation process between providers and consultants within a specific medical teaching team. (Who You Gonna Call?).
- Evaluate a National Early Warning System (NEWS) as a way to detect early clinical deterioration of patients and prevent the need for acute resuscitation. (News Flash! Extra Extra: Early Detection System to Achieve Higher Standards).
Participants in the projects included resident physicians, as well as pharmacists, nurses, and other health professionals who came together around the common purpose of learning and applying the techniques of improvement science. “When this happens we get extraordinary moments of discovery that can really make a difference in the health of our community,” said Dr. Nevin.