Improvement Science Summit set for July 7

Summit launches new improvement science research network supported by $3 million NIH grant; ninth annual Summer Institute on Evidence-Based Practice following the summit explains how to conduct research that improves patient safety and quality of care

SAN ANTONIO (July 1, 2010) — Setting the national research agenda for improving the quality of health care and patient safety will be the focus July 7 of the inaugural Improvement Science Summit, to be held in San Antonio at the Hyatt Regency on the Riverwalk.

The summit, sponsored by the Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice (ACE) at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, will establish the first national Improvement Science Research Network (ISRN) focusing on front-line hospital care provided by nurses and interprofessional teams of care providers.

The network is funded by a $3 million National Institutes of Health grant led by Kathleen R. Stevens, Ed.D., M.S., RN, ANEF, FAAN. Dr. Stevens is a professor of acute nursing care and director of ACE, which is housed in Health Science Center’s School of Nursing. The summit will be the prelude to the ninth annual Summer Institute on Evidence-Based Practice, set for July 8-10 in the same location, also sponsored by ACE.

“Although patient safety and quality improvement in bedside care are clearly stated national priorities, improvement science is still in the developmental stage, particularly in the care provided by multidisciplinary teams in hospitals,” Dr. Stevens said. “To meet these national expectations, health care experts, administrators, researchers and clinicians are devising and testing new strategies to improve the safety and quality of patient care. The Improvement Science Research Network aims to accelerate the development and testing of innovative ideas on a national scale so they can be moved more quickly into practice,” she said.

The summit will feature an 8:15 a.m. presentation via teleconference by Carolyn Clancy, M.D., director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, speaking on “The Promise of Improvement Science.”

Dr. Stevens’ presentation, “The Improvement Science Research Network: Launching the Future Today,” will follow at 9:15 a.m. and will lay the groundwork for the breakout sessions in the afternoon. Those sessions will give participants the opportunity to provide input on developing three major national improvement studies that the ISRN will conduct — medication safety, front-line improvement and team performance. Complete details about the summit are available at

Following the summit, the Summer Institute on Evidence-Based Practice, with the theme “Front-Line Improvement — How to Do It, How to Lead It, How to Inform it,” July 8-10, will offer the nuts and bolts of how to conduct improvement science research.

“In each session we will discuss effective health care strategies supported by evidence,” Dr. Stevens said. “Because front-line innovation and evidence are powerful drivers in building quality and safety, we will look at what it takes to move health care to a higher level of quality and safety.”

Among the featured topics and presenters, many of whom are national health care experts on the ISRN’s Steering Council, are:

• “The Power of the Front-Line,” presented by Dr. Steve
• “Real World Evidence for Frontline Health Care Improvement,” presented by Jack Needleman, Ph.D., FAAN, professor and director of the Health Services Ph.D. and M.S.H.S. Programs at the UCLA School of Public Health, Department of Health Services
• “Engaging Everyone in Improvement: Change, Culture and Culture Change,” presented by Mary L. Salisbury, M.S.H., RN, president of The Cedar Institute Inc.
• “The Clash of the Titans: Nightingale, Aristotle and Cochrane,” a panel exploring ethics and evidence-based practice, led by Rick Rader, M.D., director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center and a member of the AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange editorial board
• “Global Perspectives of Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice: Impact on Health Care Systems in Developing Countries,” by Kenneth W. Goodman, Ph.D., professor of medicine and director of the Miami Bioethics program
• “Putting It All Together In a Large National System,” to be presented by Navy Rear Adm. Christine S. Hunter, M.D., deputy director of TRICARE Management Activity, which coordinates health care for 9.4 million military beneficiaries worldwide

In addition to Dr. Stevens, Robert L. Ferrer, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor and deputy chair for research in the UT Health Science Center San Antonio’s Department of Family & Community Medicine, and Debra L. Fraley, M.S.N., RN, CCRN, CCNS, a nurse educator and clinical nurse specialist in Surgical Critical Care at University Hospital in San Antonio, are co-chairs of the program committee for the conference.

Visit the websites of the Summer Institute for Evidence Based Practice and Improvement Science Summit to register, or call (210) 567-1480 for more information.


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