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provides value, reduces cost and increases the quality
of care. E is for patient experience. We look at selected
measures related to both inpatient and outpatient
experience to make sure that it is optimized. R is for
reducing readmissions. This is increasingly important
because as people live longer, they are sometimes
living with complex chronic diseases that need to be
appropriately and safely managed within the home
environment. And S is for safety. Our ultimate goal
is to make sure that all patients are safe from harm
during the course of their care and treatment. We
look at the list of publicly reported patient-safety
incidents and call them “never” events — we never
want to see them. A high-performing safety culture
requires open communication, transparency and
trust to be successful.
You have said you envision UCLA as a global
leader in this arena — not just one of the best,
but a true change agent.
Dr. Cherry: We want to be the healthcare system
in the United States that organizations and
individuals turn to for leadership in quality and
safety. To get there, we need to be consistent and
high-ranking in terms of our publicly reported
measures. Consumers, employers and health plans
are increasingly looking at these measures to make
judgments about our organization, and we have to
make sure that the reputation of the organization
matches the publicly reported outcomes. That’s
one aspect of leadership. But the other is for UCLA
Health to be a visionary leader and innovator
within the broad realm of quality and safety.
What would be an example of an area in which
UCLA can serve as a healthcare change agent?
Dr. Cherry: Leveraging technology is one area
that we have been looking at for some time.
For example, wouldn’t it be great to have an app
on your smartphone that enables you to better
manage your clinical condition — based on your
doctor’s recommendations — by recording your
response to treatment and making it possible to
communicate more effectively with your physician?
With these kinds of interactive apps, the physician
can understand exactly what’s going on with you at
home; when you come in for an appointment, the
Photography: Ann Johansson
physician then has a much-more complete picture
and is able to render much-more precise and
individualized care. The UCLA Inflammatory Bowel
Disease Center has already developed a patient-
centered, interactive app, and there are other
physicians who are exploring these concepts. The
advent of social media and smart technology will
provide a level of connectivity between the physician
community and the patient that, in the future, will
allow us to leverage knowledge and decision making
in ways that we don’t yet fully understand. We’re also
looking into how the electronic health record can
be used in new ways for clinical-decision support.
Technology is going to continue to be a major driver
of change in healthcare, as it has been for a while.
safety culture requires
trust to be successful.”