Einstein/Montefiore Department of Medicine

2018 Quality Improvement Idea Contest

Internal Medicine Residents Create Solutions to Help Improve Patient Care

QI Design Contest Winners
Design Idea Contest winners: Jay Naik (PGY2); Jonah Zaretsky (PGY3); Ashley Kang (PGY2); Julie Kanevsky, Firm II Director; Yaron Tomer, Medicine Chair; Jay Chudow PGY2); Ariel Peleg (PGY2).

Improving the quality of health care across the Montefiore Health System takes leadership and innovation. The Department of Medicine is committed to Quality Improvement (QI) and has implemented wide-ranging initiatives that range from improving the identification of Clostridium difficile infections to managing asthma with a smartphone app.

Now in its third year, the department’s annual QI Idea Contest taps into the creativity of the department’s internal medicine residency trainees. Residents are encouraged to think about issues they discussed at feedback sessions or “that thing” that prevented them from providing excellent care for a patient.

This year, residents submitted 35 proposals on how to improve care in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

The winners: Ashley Kang, Jay Chudow, Ariel Peleg, Jonah Zaretsky, and Jay Naik were selected by judges Drs. Julie Kanevsky, Firm II Director in the Internal Medicine Residency Program and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine); Sharon RikinDirector of Ambulatory QI and Assistant Professor of Medicine (General Internal Medicine); and Sarah Baron, Director of Inpatient QI and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Hospital Medicine). 

“The contest is a great opportunity for trainees to improve patient care and increase patient safety,” said Dr. Kanevsky, who created and runs the annual contest. “It’s also an excellent way for residents to build their CVs, as many of the ideas will lead to projects that will be presented at national conferences and be published.”

At a recent ceremony held in Montefiore's Grand Hall, Dr. Yaron Tomer, chair of the Department of Medicine, presented the winners with certificates and $100 cash prizes.

“QI is some of the most important research that we’re doing because it results in improvements and changes to how we treat patients,” Dr. Tomer said. “The fact that we’re admitting to ourselves that there is a much better way to treat our patients and we will commit ourselves to making these improvements is one of our greatest achievements.”

Beginning next year, the contest will be a two-round system. Residents and fellows will first be asked to submit their QI ideas. The finalists from the first round will be given a small monetary award and will be supported towards submitting a grant proposal. Grant proposals with the greatest potential for improving the Montefiore health care system will receive Department of Medicine Chair’s Award for Excellence in Quality Improvement, which will include a monetary award as well as grant funding to assist in the completion of the project itself. Although this two-round system will not start till next year, this year’s winners can develop QI proposals and submit their projects to be considered in the second round of next year’s competition. It’s time to put your thinking caps on!

Winning Proposals

Ashley Kang and Jay Chudow
Aim: To improve recognition of which physician is responsible for a patient by both patients and staff.
a) Change the whiteboards to include the medical team and potentially responsible provider in addition to the responsible nurse, similar to what is already done in the ICUs.
b) Have updated pictures/names of the primary team on each patient’s personal board so that they may easily identify the primary attending and residents.

Ariel Peleg
Aim: To improve transmission of home health information, such as home FS’s and BP measurements, to physicians/clinic setting.
Work with IT to integrate home finger stick and blood pressure recording into a smartphone app for Montefiore MyChart, then have these values sync with Epic as data produced by patients (perhaps create an outpatient data tab on Epic).

Jonah Zaretsky and Jay Naik
Aim: To improve the rate of Rx canceling at the pharmacy for meds that are discontinued or changed upon discharge from the hospital.
a) Implement an automated electronic solution to the problem. In addition to ‘e-prescribing’ there would be ‘e-discontinuing.’
b) Educate prescribers that there is no automatic discontinuation of meds and that refills may still be available for patients. 

Contact Us

Department of Medicine
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
Belfer Building - Room 1008
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Bronx, NY 10461 (directions)

Physicians and Patients:
866-MED-TALK (866-633-8255)

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Administrative Questions:
Fax: 718-430-8659

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