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URMC / Highland Hospital / Medical Professionals / Physician News / March 2019 / Highland Joins UR Pursuing Excellence Initiative

Highland Joins UR Pursuing Excellence Initiative

Outstanding team work leads to higher quality patient care. That’s the basis for UR Pursuing Excellence, an initiative aimed at building highly motivated, interprofessional, collaborative teams that continuously implement best practices to improve outcomes and quality measures. The goal is to transform the way providers, nurses, residents, and others work together in pursuit of clinical excellence. 

The initiative began in 2016 at the University of Rochester Medical Center and has since expanded to include UR Medicine affiliates, including two Highland teams: one on West 7 and one at Highland Family Medicine. 

Physicians, nurses, residents, pharmacists, and others comprise the teams. All are studying and piloting approaches to better ways of providing team-based care for patients and streamlining the composition of care teams.

For the W7 medical unit, Sullafa Kadura, M.D., Stacey Bonacci, B.S.N., R.N., and Christina Mondschein, B.S.N., R.N., are the team leaders, and Stephanie Romney, Performance Improvement Project Manager, is the coach. Other core team members include:  Khaled Abdulla, M.D., Mohammed Admani, M.D., Lisa Beyers, M.D., Caroline Donohue, M.D., and Alexandra Mancuso, Pharm.D. New team members include: Sarah Harner, P.A., Molly Sabido, P.A., Andrianna Hetelekides, B.S.N., R.N., Kelsea Wemett, L.M.S.W., and Gabriella Briggs, L.M.S.W.

“Much of our work involves creating and implementing the best approach to bedside rounding,” said Dr. Kadura. “We believe that including the patient and families along with interdisciplinary staff during rounds not only allows for the development of a unified care plan, but will also lead to improved patient outcomes.” Their aim is to increase physician-to-nurse, face-to-face communication to 75 percent in six months; they predict a recently introduced geographic team will facilitate this.  

Mathew Devine, D.O., and Katie Lashway, B.S.N., R.N., are team leaders of the Highland Family Medicine team and Marci Alexander, Director of Patient Experience, is the coach. Other team members include: Alissa Correll, M.D., Timothy Smilnak, M.D., and Nabila Ahmed-Sarwar, Pharm.D., B.C.P.S., C.D.E., BC-ADM.

Highland Family Medicine Pursuing Excellence initiative is “Improving Team Indigestion: Using Interdisciplinary Teams to Appropriately Decrease Medication Use in Patients that are on Long-term GI medications.”  Their goal is to reduce the number of patients taking PPI’s unnecessarily by 50 percent in 12 months and to educate the clinical team members of the practice to share the care in these health discussions. “The success of our project is also dependent on how we all work together as a team to care for our patients,” said Dr. Devine. “Residents are a key part of that since we are also highly involved in resident training.  It’s been shown that residents trained in quality practices are more successful and more likely to pursue quality improvement as attendings. And that bodes well for the future of health care.”


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