Within the Department of Medicine we have a broad array of ambulatory practices, with diverse patients, practitioners and locations. This richness is our strength and challenge in many ways. Initiatives designed to make both the patient’s and practitioner’s experience positive and more uniform will require a coordinated effort to identify best practices in the outpatient arena.
You will be hearing about many operational and patient satisfaction metrics that are important to evaluating our mission, but the driving force for our clinicians is to deliver the best patient care possible. With a critical look at the systems in place presently and careful thought of what constitutes effective care delivery we should strive for creative ways to support our clinicians in their goals. Embedded in this effort, a team-based approach to care delivery will be essential. Clinical teams have driven inpatient operations (including quality and safety initiatives) for quite some time, and this is a model that should continue in the ambulatory setting.
Johns Hopkins Medicine is full of creative individuals that are critical thinkers. Clinical leaders are aware of the challenges, and I am hopeful that as a department we can identify common goals to drive our improvement efforts. Steps to start this conversation include:
- Understanding the clinical settings and challenges
- Identifying barriers to high-quality patient care
- Creating an ambulatory community to share successes
Additionally, continued support of successful efforts for patient care management such as the After Care Clinic will be important as the emphasis on ambulatory care for complex medical patients increases.
It is an exciting time for ambulatory medicine, and with this brings many opportunities for collaboration and improvement in medicine!
-Kim Peairs, Associate Vice Chair for Ambulatory Operations