By: Sandhya K. Rao. MD

This is part of an ongoing series by our Quality, Safety & Value team highlighting Partners HealthCare’s efforts to develop and implement best practices across our network of hospitals to improve the quality of care patients receive while reducing costs.

There are countless technological advances that help us bring patients higher-quality care today, but sometimes the most effective way to improve patient care is to get the right people in the same room to hash out their greatest challenges. That’s exactly what we did during Partners HealthCare’s first annual Quality and Safety Symposium, when people came together from across the Partners network to share recent innovations in quality and safety and tackle some of the common problems we face in these areas.

We discussed a range of topics, from improving the overall patient experience to reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections. With 25 presentations, we had a lot of ground to cover, but we designed the day in a way that would be both valuable and actionable. Here are three steps we took to create a productive symposium:

1. Ask people what they want to talk about. Instead of having a handful of people set the agenda, we crowd-sourced it. We asked attendees what they were worried about and determined the sessions in response to their needs.

2. Build problem-solving into the agenda. We organized the presentations into themes, so that after listening to several related presentations, everyone at the following breakout session was engaged in solving the same problem. That made the conversation more sophisticated and powerful.

3. Assemble attendees with different roles. We invited chief quality officers and senior executives working on quality and safety issues, but we also included teams who are finding innovative solutions to these challenges at the front lines of care. By bringing teams together from all our institutions, we could more efficiently harness knowledge across the entire spectrum of care, leading to more informed conversations.

The symposium was a great success, and we hope it will be a model for future conversations on quality, safety and other challenges. People are passionate about what they do here, so they’re very generous about wanting to share. We’ll share some of the specific findings that emerged in future posts on this blog.

Read other posts in the “Higher-Quality Care” series or sign up to receive the latest posts from Connect with Partners.

Topics: Patient Experience, Innovation, Scholarship

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