Quality corner

November 2018 – Vol. 37, No. 10

CW David Chang, MD
PSQI Committee Co-Chair

Patient Safety and Quality Improvement (PSQI) underpins everything we do as physicians as we care for our patients. The PSQI Committee has been working for our members to focus on safe and effective practices within otolaryngology.

The “Quality Corner” is a bimonthly feature in the Bulletin to highlight PSQI issues. To date, committee members have authored columns on the following: Patient Safety Event Tool; Cognitive and Implicit Bias; Wrong-site Surgery; and Surgical Competency. We anticipate future articles on opioids, operating room fire safety, and ergonomics for surgeons.

PSQI and AAO-HNS leadership engaged The Joint Commission (TJC) to discuss disturbing directions in the delivery of otolaryngic care. Clarification was sought regarding the interpretation of standards set forth by TJC. Some of these interpretations appeared to be extrapolations of standards applied to other environments but not necessarily appropriate for the otolaryngology outpatient environment. As individual surgeons, our voices were not heard. Collectively as the AAO-HNS, we were able to sit with TJC leadership to voice concerns of over-interpretation that have led to confusion and unnecessary time and expense, and could interfere with patient safety. For a copy of TJC letter to AAO-HNS, see the October Bulletin.

PSQI joined with other committees to provide panel presentations at this year’s Annual Meeting. Committee members participated in three co-sponsored panels: 1. Improving Patient Safety with Systems-based Simulation (with the Simulation Education Committee); 2. Office Equipment Disinfection and Storage: Sound Evidence or Alternative Facts? (with the Infectious Disease Committee); and 3. Demystifying Opioids: Facts, Gaps, Patterns, and Alternatives for Pain Control in Common Surgical Procedures (with the Outcomes Research and Evidence-Based Medicine Committee).

The first installment—Part I: What PS/QI Means to Your Otolaryngology Practice—in the series of PS/QI Primer for the Academy’s journal Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery was published in July to further awareness of concepts to AAO-HNS readership. Future installments are planned.

Many thanks for the work by all committee members and staff. The vibrancy and energy of our organization is certainly felt in PSQI. Please let us know your patient safety concerns.