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Patient Safety and Quality Improvement

Debra E. Roberts, M.D., Ph.D.Debra Roberts, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of Quality and Safety for the Department of Neurology at URMC.  Ann Leonhardt-Caprio, MS, RN, ANP-BC serves as Co-Director. 

Dr. Roberts received her MD-PhD from Boston University, then completed her training in Neurology and Neuro-Critical Care at Washington University in St. Louis.  She joined our Department in 2015.  She is currently the Medical Director of the Neuro-Critical Care Unit at Strong Memorial Hospital, and Academic Chief of the Neuro-Critical Care Division.  She has quickly become an institutional and national leader in critical care and quality improvement.

Ann Leonhardt-CaprioMs. Leonhardt-Caprio received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and her Masters in Nursing at the University of Rochester, joining our department in 2006.  She holds a faculty appointment at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, and serves as the Stroke Program Coordinator for our Comprehensive Stroke Center.  Ms. Leonhardt-Caprio has led quality improvement efforts for the Department of Neurology since 2012.

Together, Dr. Roberts and Ms. Leonhardt-Caprio will lead the newly created Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Working Group.  The group features members with varied levels of training and experience, representing multiple inpatient and outpatient subspecialties.  The Working Group Charter is to develop and maintain a cohesive departmental approach to patient safety, quality, and process improvement across all clinical areas within our department.  The Working Group will be responsible for numerous objectives, including:

  • Departmental QA and PI plans
  • Event reporting and monitoring of morbidity/mortality data
  • Patient/family satisfaction
  • Joint Commission OPPE/FPPE processes
  • Review of metrics linked to quality and safety, including hospital-acquired conditions, length of stay, readmission rates, etc.
  • Development of relevant educational programs for housestaff and faculty
  • QI project facilitation
  • Creation of a QI/PS data and project clearinghouse

Dr. Roberts, Ms. Leonhardt-Caprio, and the Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Working Group aim to create a model to be emulated by other departments at URMC and beyond.  This ambitious initiative is yet another example of how the Department of Neurology at the University of Rochester continually strives to be “ever better.”