|Previous portrait||Tracey Hoke, MD, MSc
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UVA School of Medicine
Chief of Quality and Performance Improvement, UVA Health System
In my role as physician, mentor, teacher, and leader, I oversee transformation in clinical care delivery at the University of Virginia Health System, and systematically share my experience and insights with the next generation.
My academic work involves the application of Lean principles and methods to improvement efforts in healthcare. Our overall effort is called “Be Safe”, designed to add value in the healthcare system while eliminating all forms of waste that do not benefit the patient. Through a rigorous problem-solving approach, we are setting best practice for healthcare providers across the country. We seek to achieve the “Triple Aim” of healthcare – improving patients’ experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing cost.
Having designed the Be Safe curriculum, we are educating leaders and front-line team members alike. We use Lean principles and improvement methods to continuously improve the work environment. Applying standard tools and methods in real time allows us to better align our work with our True North vision of putting the patient first.
For the past three years, leaders representing key areas in our Health System have gathered each morning to assess our readiness to deliver perfect care for the coming day, while reviewing key events from the prior 24 hours. This daily huddle provides a venue for real-time problem solving activity to escalate to those who can resource solutions, while empowering all team members to collaborate and communicate to solve problems when they first arise.
In addition, senior leaders from the organization perform what we call a “Gemba walk” each day. Leaders go to where the work is done—including inpatient and clinic care areas, supply depots and support facilities—to provide in-person leadership support and to assess our development of Lean methods. This allows front-line team members and leaders to build valuable relationships, and to reinforce our True North goal to put the patient at the center of all we do.
As a result of our efforts, we have realized significant reductions in hospital-acquired conditions such as central line-associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections. This means that we are making the health system safer for our patients. We have also seen how reducing waste from our systems and processes increases team member engagement, and improves the patient experience. Improved patient outcomes and engaged team members are living proof that our efforts are impacting healthcare in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
We are at the cutting edge of healthcare delivery and we are leading change in Academic Medical Centers. I am privileged to lead this transformation, and enjoy every aspect of my role(s). As a physician, I live in this system and partner with patients and teams to deliver care. As a mentor, I support junior faculty and trainees as they seek to become experts in the science of “improvement”. As a teacher, I share my expertise in Lean principles and methods. As a leader, I drive change. And so far, all the balls are in the air…!
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