Ibrahim “Trey” Alava III, MD, associate professor in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston, has been named vice chair for quality for the department. In his new role, his goal is to improve the department’s quality and patient safety reporting and use the data to strengthen the otorhinolaryngology service at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Medical Center, and Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital; Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital, part of Harris Health; and UT Physicians, the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School.
“We’re tracking individual metrics and using our monthly Quality and Patient Care Conference to generate improvement strategies,” says Dr. Alava, who is chief of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and also serves as medical director of the hospital’s 32 specialty clinics, where he helps physicians and staff develop innovative strategies for care. “The conference is monthly, but I also meet with key people inside and outside the department on a regular basis to ensure that we stay focused on quality and excellent patient care.”
Dr. Alava will participate in UTHealth Houston’s monthly Quality and Patient Safety Conferences at which all departmental quality vice chairs and officers review their data and report on their improvement projects and goals.
“We’re now tracking our hospital perioperative measures for ENT, which is a new effort,” he says. “We can compare our data to national data and create a dashboard to track improvement. If we’re having a large number of readmissions for pain after a particular procedure, for example, we can more easily discover why. If a patient is admitted to the hospital after an outpatient procedure, we need to know exactly why in order to improve our practice. Most inpatient surgical departments – acute care surgery, surgical oncology, and neurosurgery, for instance – have been doing this for a number of years. ENT is a little behind because we are a heavily outpatient practice. Our goal is to have a quality and patient safety program that is as strong as the inpatient surgical services at our institution and other academic hospitals.”