Improving Quality and Safety at UTMB Health

Achieving outstanding patient care outcomes is an ongoing pursuit at UTMB. On an ongoing basis, we actively implement evidence-based practices to prevent, mitigate, recognize and treat infections. The following are just a few examples of current and ongoing initiatives in place to improve the safety and quality of care delivered at UTMB Health.

Vigorous Surveillance

  • We use vigorous surveillance to identify and eliminate healthcare-associated conditions and hospital-acquired infections, including post-surgical infection surveillance.
  • We monitor how well our providers and staff practice proper hand hygiene. Proper hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent infection. At UTMB, our goals is to practice perfect hand hygiene 100% of the time.

Use of Technology to Support Safer Care

  • We use state-of-the-art simulation labs to train clinicians in ultrasound-guided central intravenous line insertion.
  • Utilize Xenex germ-zapping robots to reduce eliminate up to 99.9% for most organisms throughout the areas of John Sealy towers where the risk of infection is most common: the SICU, MICU, CCU and isolation rooms. The system is effective even against the most dangerous pathogens including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza and staph bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.

Clinical Documentation Improvement

  • We work to ensure that clinicians and coders document complications thoroughly and properly. We are also working to improve accuracy in capturing complexity and co-morbidity (the presence of one or more additional disorders or diseases co-occurring with a primary disease or disorder) of patient diagnoses.

Improvement Initiatives

  • Launched "Commit to Sit", a physician-driven initiative that underscores patient satisfaction as a priority for excellent clinical care. ┬áProviders are encouraged to sit comfortably and converse with patients and families at eye-level, which helps increase the length of time physicians spend speaking with the patient and family.
  • Established Project CARE (Controlling Avoidable Readmissions Effectively) to reduce hospital readmissions. Goals of the collaborative are to reduce hospital readmissions through coordination of care; improve access to primary, behavioral, and specialty care; and improved utilization of providers and staff, processes and technology.

Courses and Project Teams

  • We established a team to help prevent patient falls.
  • We offer faculty and staff Clinical Safety and Effective (CS&E) courses, which are eight-day courses that provide participants tools to complete process improvement projects.
  • Patient Safety / Lifewings is a program that consists of training sessions and customized safety tools (e.g. checklists and standard protocols) to ensure lasting cultural changes occur in the workplace.




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