Guest Column: Doc to Doc: Welcome to the Physician Quality Academy (Robert Redwood)

By Robert S. Redwood, MD, MPH Emergency and Preventive Medicine Physician, Divine Savior Healthcare, Inc., Portage; and Physician Improvement Advisor, Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA)

February 10, 2017

The WHA Physician Quality Academy is a two-day quality curriculum for physicians with an interest in quality improvement. The academy is co-led by physicians and quality professionals and is geared toward all levels of physician quality engagement, from the general workforce, to medical director, physician champion, or director of quality.

As physicians, I truly feel that it is part of our professional duty to engage in quality improvement activities. In academia, we dedicate our careers to compiling the evidence needed to improve outcomes and create new frontiers in medical science. In clinical care, we spend each day at the bedside, tirelessly delivering quality care to individual patients, effecting real change on the lives of others. In public health, we analyze data and craft policies to keep our communities healthy, stepping up our efforts when health challenges are vast and resources are scarce. Together these physician-led professional endeavors have saved, improved and extended countless human lives. Modern medical practice, however, is not without its challenges—real progress is slow and the translation of scientific evidence into clinical medicine can be clunky, inconsistent and poorly executed. Luckily, we have other professions that support and enhance our work in medicine. 

The quality improvement movement has provided powerful tools for making sure evidence-based practices make it to the bedside and are performed consistently. As physicians, quality improvement empowers our profession to use population health data to better inform our individual patient care. Moreover, implementation scientists and quality improvement professionals have recognized our value as experts, innovators and leaders, and are hungry for physician involvement in quality work. At the WHA Physician Quality Academy, physicians are given a candid environment to learn basic and advanced quality improvement methods, explore the expectations of physician quality roles and craft strategies to excel in their collaborations with other quality professionals.

Physicians already involved in quality work will have the chance to network with other physicians in similar roles and explore strategies for high-level project oversight, maintaining credibility and career longevity/advancement. We are not in the business of passive learning here, so come prepared to engage with your colleagues and share your experiences in quality improvement. Whether you are aiming to learn quality improvement methods for the first time, refine your existing toolkit, or take your quality role to the next level, we are confident you will leave the Physician Quality Academy with new perspectives and a broader quality agenda to bring back to your home institution. 

This story originally appeared in the February 10, 2017 edition of WHA Newsletter