News & Press: Organization News

Message from the SRF Chair

Monday, July 8, 2019  

Writing the Next Chapter of ACMQ
Michael Jin, MD 

I am humbled and honored to serve as chair for the students, residents, and fellows section of ACMQ.

Like many of you, my path to medical quality was not taught in a classroom. In fact, I shared the opinion of many of you that medical quality is simply bureaucratic paperwork that gets in the way of patient care. It was not until late in medical school that I realized, despite diligence and our best intentions, patient care is not error-free. During these situations, the best tool at our disposable is medical quality.

During my internal medicine rotation, two of my patients received meals when they were “NPO”. Both patients received someone else’s tray and one even received food despite multiple signs alerting “NPO” status. Fortunately, neither patient was directly harmed. However, both instances resulted in extended hospital stays and delays in treatment, leaving the patient at greater risk for morbidity.

Out of a desire to prevent similar mistakes from happening to future patients, I inadvertently practiced medical quality: after completing my daily clinical responsibilities, I met with floor nurse managers to identify the causes of the problem. Together, we surveyed nurses and dietitians and realized the issue involved dietary interns not confirming patient identities with identification wristbands. Additionally, due to delays in order placement, dietary teams may not receive the most recent orders placed by medicine teams. Thus, working with the nursing staff, we conceived of two interventions. First, dietary interns will meet with unit receptionists and retrieve updated order lists confirming patient allergies and NPO status immediately before meal delivery. Second, we initiated training sessions with dietitians to emphasize the importance of checking patient wristbands when delivering meals. I realized by fixing a system through quality improvement, you are directly improving care for patients.

Since joining ACMQ, my passion and abilities in medical quality have only grown. ACMQ has shown me not only how to utilize such tools as “Lean Six Sigma” in quality projects, but also allowed me to access the networks of all our members on a level playing field, both for advice and for aiding my future career. At ACMQ, central to all of our endeavors are our values: professionalism, innovation, patient-centeredness, scholarship, commitment to diversity and inclusion, and wise stewardship of our resources. 

As your chair during the 2019-2020 year, I want you to know it is truly an exciting time for the SRF section. We continue to grow stronger. We are becoming even more creative in solving the challenges presented by our intricate healthcare landscape through our commitment to community-building throughout our large and far-reaching network. I would like to call on all of us to become even more connected as colleagues and collaborators. Together, we are writing the next chapter of ACMQ’s history. Together, we can change healthcare.

American College of Medical Quality
225 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 650 | Chicago, IL 60606 USA
Phone: 312-663-8026