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For Release: April 4, 2011
Rick Adams 603-653-1913
Follow on Twitter: @DartMedNews

Dartmouth Medical School participates in quality and safety initiative

Hanover, NH—Dartmouth Medical School is participating in a unique initiative focusing on Quality and Patient Safety, a new multi-year effort announced recently by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Called "Best Practices for Better Care," the initiative is intended to harness the unique missions of academic medicine--medical education, patient care, and research--and apply them to the challenges of improving quality and safety in health care.

DMS joins more than 200 medical schools, teaching hospitals, and health systems who have committed to implement the campaign's five initial components:

  • Teach the next generation of doctors about the importance of quality and patient safety through formal curricula
  • Ensure safer surgery through use of surgical checklists
  • Reduce infections from central lines using proven protocols
  • Reduce hospital readmissions for high-risk patients
  • Research, evaluate, and share new and improved practices.

"We are deeply committed to influencing the delivery, quality, and safety of health care," said Chip Souba, DMS Dean and Vice President for Health Affairs at Dartmouth. "Together with our partners at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and Dartmouth College, DMS is uniquely positioned to have a meaningful impact on the training of physicians and the way health care is delivered."

Best Practices for Better Care is a unique collaboration in which medical schools, teaching hospitals, and their physicians and scientists will work together to advance the quality and safety of patient care," said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD.

Through the effort, participating institutions, which collectively represent 12 percent of hospital admissions nationwide, will improve care today by broadly implementing proven practices pioneered by teaching hospitals to ensure safer surgeries, reduce infections, and cut hospital readmissions.

The campaign also will improve care in the future by schooling medical students and residents in these best practices, with quality and safety emphasized in medical education from day one. In addition, through the campaign's research and evaluation component, participating institutions will study and spread knowledge about what works best in order to continually improve. Metrics have been established for each of the five best practices. The AAMC expects to issue the campaign's first progress report no later than February 2012.


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