ACOG has offered its well-regarded postgraduate course “Safety and Quality for Leaders in Women’s Health Care” for more than 20 years. Originally, this course started as a leadership skills course for ob-gyns, directed at those who were new in their role as department chair, head of a group practice, or other leadership role. About 10 years ago, the course title and focus shifted to reflect the growing emphasis nationally on reducing medical errors and improving the safety and quality of the care we provide to our patients.
Over three days and approximately 18 hours of contact time, the course addresses a wide variety of topics related to patient safety. Course director, John Keats, MD, has assembled an expert faculty that come from diverse backgrounds and bring their rich experience in promoting safety and quality to the learning setting. In addition to ob-gyn generalists and a maternal fetal medicine specialist, the faculty includes a health law attorney and a midwife.
The course exposes attendees to various key topics in patient safety and quality through a combination of traditional lectures, group team building and simulation exercises, and discussions around adverse event scenarios. The hope is that attendees will learn the vocabulary of patient safety and quality improvement, be inspired to engage in self-directed learning in greater depth on the subjects covered, and to return home inspired to introduce these concepts to their office or hospital. An entire lecture is devoted to up-to-date resources to enable safety and quality programs to be initiated or enhanced. Learners have ample opportunity to ask questions and interact with the faculty, and network with fellow attendees, allowing time for to find opportunities to share common problems and learn of possible solutions.
The course emphasizes teamwork and communication, which are the cornerstones of building a strong patient safety culture within clinical care settings; Disclosure of adverse events, dealing with “second victims”, and generational differences in the workplace are addressed. Clinical simulations are a key focus in terms of how to initiate or improve an ongoing program at your institution. Strategies to manage conflict and to change physician behavior are introduced as well as descriptions of statistical tools to analyze quality improvement efforts. Our faculty attorney introduces principles of credentialing, peer review, ongoing competency assessment and legal aspects of the use of social media in clinical practice. Topics addressed for the first time this year include the safety implications of screening and treatment of perinatal depression and anxiety and statewide initiatives to reduce maternal mortality.
The vast majority of past attendees have found this course to be extremely helpful in their professional lives. Not only is the material presented immediately applicable to their home clinical settings, but follow-up surveys indicate that many have made significant changes based on what they learned. The faculty very much encourages attendance by teams of professionals from one institution, and the subjects covered are applicable and of interest to many outside of obstetrics and gynecology. Past course attendees have included midwives, nurses and nurse leaders, hospital and practice administrators, residents, family physicians and internists, as well as ob-gyns from all over the United States and other countries.
The course changes to some degree every time it is offered, with major reconfigurations being done approximately every three years. For that reason, we commonly see people who have previously attended a number of years ago return to take the course again, often bringing other physician and nurse colleagues with them. Some attendees have been inspired to go on to advanced studies in quality improvement, or have established careers as safety experts in hospitals and hospital systems.
Register for the Course
This postgraduate course will be offered in Chicago on June 9-11 and in Scottsdale on October 27-29: Registration for both courses is available online.
There is a limited number of spaces available, so register early, and plan to bring a team of women’s health care professionals from your hospital or practice. This course will leave you energized and inspired to return home and start or improve the patient safety and quality improvement programs where you practice!