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VHIG Leadership and Projects Meeting, Feb. 17th

By Scott Hagan, VMS II

VHIG hosted a successful gathering tonight at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management. Our event featured guest speaker Jason Hickok, MBA, RN, who is Vice President of Clinical Improvement for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). Charged with coordinating the safety initiatives of the largest for-profit hospital chain in the world, Mr. Hickok spoke to students about the spreading best practices and patient safety initiatives across a large healthcare system.

A key lesson that Mr. Hickok wished for the students to take away is for healthcare organizations to focus on developing accurate measurements of the quality of clinical performance so that the value of quality improvement initiatives can be appreciated. Having robust pre- and post-intervention clinical data, along evidence of the financial benefits of an intervention, allows healthcare quality leaders to find buy-in from both the clinical and business leadership in health care organizations. Mr. Hickok used the example of implementing a central line bundle that utilizes a standardized kit across a healthcare organization. Managers may object to the price of such a central line kit unless quality experts are able to show how much more money could be saved by preventing a central line associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI), which costs an average of $44,000 to treat, than skimping on a high quality central line kit. Clinicians may object to standardization of a process using a bundle because they are used to performing a task a certain way, until they are shown the data that a) CLABSIs have a mortality rate of 12-25%, and b) central line bundles significantly reduce the risk of CLABSIs.

For more information on central line bundles, refer to this page on the IHI website: Implementing the Central Line Bundle.

After Mr. Hickok’s talk, Piotr Pilarski and Irving Ye, our VHIG Co-Presidents, gave a presentation about the history and accomplishments of VHIG, and how Vanderbilt students can get involved in future work. Download the full presentation here.

Click here for the VHIG fact sheet, a summary of our organization’s activities and opportunities.

We look forward to bringing new, enthusiastic Vanderbilt students from various disciplines into our organization.

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