- Created on Wednesday, November 29 2006 05:00
Interdisciplinary Clinical Practice Committee
Physician group seeks to improve safety across the board
M&M (morbidity and mortality) conferences are a part of the fabric of organized medicine and have been since they were established in the early 1900s as a way to evaluate patient care. Fortunately, they are no longer like the TV version with senior physicians berating others to “shame” them into providing better and safer care. Such an atmosphere does not create a culture of safety and does not result in providers learning to improve care. Intended as a confidential peer review discussion of medical errors or near misses in the care of patients, the conferences have become an important learning tool for physicians everywhere.
At Hallmark Health System (HHS), several departments hold their own M&M conferences. But HHS clinical leaders wanted to take the concept one step further and last year established an Interdisciplinary Clinical Practice Committee. Its aim is to improve patient care by providing a venue for clinicians to discuss cases, identify areas of improvement and promote professionalism, ethical integrity and transparency. Cases discussed in the group tend to be those that are very complex, multi-disciplinary or involve multiple clinicians.
“The sessions are not just for physicians,” said Steven Sbardella, MD, who co-chairs the committee with Charles Allen, MD. “Also included are physician extenders, nurses and anyone else who was involved with the case.” Discussions that occur at the committee focus on different approaches that may lead to a better outcome for patients presenting with similar issues.
“We want to create a comfortable environment in which everyone interested in the case feels free to engage in open discussion,” he added. “The point is for all of us to gain a better understanding of what happened and how to improve. The ultimate goal is that people will begin to feel really comfortable questioning each other during the processing of a patient.”
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