In a new effort to eliminate harm and reinforce a culture of caring in healthcare, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing faculty members Ellen Ray, DNP, MS, RN, CNM, Cynthia Foronda, PhD, RN, CNE, and Brigit Van Graafeiland, DNP, CNRP, have been chosen to serve in the third cohort of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute Patient Safety and Quality Leadership Academy.

A program launched to connect health systems and transform the clinical healthcare setting, the Academy will give 33 Johns Hopkins scholars the opportunity to propose, plan, and lead a sustainable, multidisciplinary patient safety or quality improvement project while evaluating its effectiveness on patient outcomes.

“The Academy will bring accountability, continuity, and interprofessional collaboration to the table,” says Melinda Sawyer, the Academy’s Program Co-Director and The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality’s Assistant Director of Patient Safety. “The scholars, including physicians, nurses, pharmacists, technologists, and others, will incorporate teamwork and focus on advancing care through every discipline.”

Taking the same team orientated-approach in 2008, the Armstrong Institute made incredible strides in patient safety by implementing a five-point checklist that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers could use when treating or examining patients with catheters. Through the four-year, 44-state project, blood stream infections were reduced by 40 percent, and Sawyer believes more successes like that can begin from ideas initiated at the Academy.

“This is an opportunity for our faculty to continue the great work in patient safety and quality we have already begun here at the school and Johns Hopkins,” says Dean Patricia Davidson, PhD, MEd, RN, FAAN. “Patient safety is integral to the future of care, and we want to make sure nurses are prepared and at the forefront in delivering high quality care.” In addition to the Academy, the JHSON is placing a strong emphasis on safe and quality care through advanced content in its new Master’s Entry into Nursing Program, scheduled to begin in fall 2015. The graduate curriculum will also include a greater focus on global health, ethics, leadership, and interprofessional practice and will prepare students to enter the profession as RNs with the tools to quickly grow into a leadership role. Other programs that focus on quality care and patient safety include the Fuld Fellows Program directed by Cheryl Dennison Himmelfarb, PhD, RN, ANP, FAAN, also a faculty member in the Leadership Academy, and two “Science of Safety in Healthcare” Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

The faculty will begin the Academy on October 3 and present their findings at the annual Johns Hopkins Patient Safety Summit in June 2015.

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