Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The 10th Annual Quality Colloquium at Harvard

For four days this week the leaders in the quality and safety movement from all over the nation converged on the campus of Harvard University for the 10th Annual Quality Colloquium co sponsored by the Jefferson School of Population Health. In the first morning of the program, three key leaders, including the CEO of the IHI in Boston, the National Patient Safety Foundation, and the AHRQ, set the tone for the rest of the week by challenging the audience to get further engaged in the movement.These leaders reminded us all that medical error remains the fourth leading cause of death in the US and more must be done to protect our patients from harm. The research presentations covered a wide range of topics including the latest research on safety improvement in both the hospital and the office setting. Others presented an update on the role of hospital governance in quality and called for a renewed commitment on the part of board members to this agenda. In the pre conference workshop, nearly 100 persons spent a day in a special "boot camp", with myself and my colleage Dr Ed Walker from the University of Washington in Seattle. Together, we gave a day long overview of the field and we too challenged the attendees to return to their home institutions with a renewed sense of energy and new tools to tackle the epidemic of harmful errors. Our team is already hard at work planning the August 2012 session!! I sure hope that you will think about joining us next summer. DAVID NASH

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