The very best of the Department of Internal Medicine’s quality and safety projects were on display during the first Edward Randall III Internal Medicine Quality Fair held May 2 in the Leather Lounge.

More than 25 safety and quality projects were showcased during the event supported by the Edward Randall III Chair in Internal Medicine, which was originally established as a professorship by the university to thank Mr. Randall for his service as chair of the UTHealth Development Board. Mr. Randall is a life member of the UTHealth Development Board.

Quality and safety became a national focus as the result of the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 To Err is Human report. As a result of the alarming statistics of patient injury and death as the result of errors, health care leaders have looked to the quality and performance principles found in other industries, such as motor vehicle and airlines, to improve patient safety and outcomes.

The Quality Fair is directed by Dr. Luis Ostrosky, professor of internal medicine and vice chair for quality for the Department of Internal Medicine.

“Quality Improvement in healthcare is a relatively new development that seeks to break the status quo and find better, more efficient, and safer ways to provide care,” Ostrosky said. “From avoiding deadly infections in the hospital to devastating falls at home, or improving the functional status of patients with arthritis, we all work hard every day to change outcomes that are important to both our patients and our partners.”

Prizes were granted to the top three quality and safety projects: First place – Dr. Jeena Varghese for the abstract, “Electronic Consultation (E-Consults): Improving Access to Endocrine Specialty Care in Harris Health System;” Second place – Alexandris Aman for his abstract, “Get to Green: Improving Team Communication to Reduce Ventilator Hours;” and Third place – Dr. Shekhar Patil for his abstract, “Reducing the Time to Antibiotics in Sepsis Patients.”