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March 13, 2017

Patient safety as a priority 

It’s clear that health care is complicated. What is not so clear is the path toward making our health system more affordable and accessible.

Even as this national debate goes on, there are things we can all do today to improve care for our patients—that is to focus on quality and safety. This week is National Patient Safety Awareness Week and an opportunity to remind ourselves of the primary goal of our patient safety program: to eliminate preventable harm.

As Chief Quality Officer and Associate Chief Medical Officer Mike Edmond, MD, reminds us, everyone makes errors but most errors can be avoided by practicing low-risk behaviors:

• Work with a questioning attitude; if you feel uncertain, stop and verify before proceeding
• Communicate clearly
• Be mindful: stay completely in the moment and don’t mult-itask
• Speak up if you are concerned and stop the line if necessary
• Wash your hands before and after every patient contact

Of course, if errors or near misses occur, staff members should report them via the Patient Safety Net portal (an icon link is located on every clinical desktop) or the PSN Help Line at 467-6543. Reporting is important in order to document, evaluate, and find solutions for unanticipated events, incidents, near misses, errors, and accidents.

The Patient Safety Program is also active all year long with educational efforts, such as monthly “Let’s Talk Patient Safety” forums, where physicians, nurses, and staff members discuss patient safety issues in a confidential environment and the Good Catch Awards are presented.

The Good Catch Award recognizes a staff member’s professional diligence in having prevented a potential error or near miss that could have resulted in an accident, injury, or illness. A link to the nomination form, as well as links to other helpful safety resources can be found on the CQSPI site on The Point.

Have a good week and remember to wash your hands! It is the best way to prevent infection and save lives.

Update on VPMA search

Progress continues in the search for a new Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine. This week an executive search firm—Isaacson, Miller—will visit the University of Iowa Health Care campus to conduct interviews with key stakeholders. The search firm is assisting the 17-member UI search committee in identifying excellent candidates to replace Jean Robillard, MD, who has said he will continue to serve in the roles until a new leader is named. Co-chairs of the search committee are Carroll Reasoner, vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, and Bruce J. Gantz, MD, chair and DEO, and the Brian F. McCabe Distinguished Chair, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

Imborek named director of offsite primary care

Katie Imborek, MD, has been named director of offsite primary care for University of Iowa Health Care. Since 2011, she has served as a clinical assistant professor of family medicine at UI Health Care. Since 2012, she has co-directed the UI Health Care LGBTQ Clinic at UI Health Care–Iowa River landing and served as the medical director of the UI Health Care–Southeast Iowa City Clinic. In her capacity as director of offsite primary care, Imborek will act as the medical director of UIP-managed offsite clinics, with the exception of UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing. She will work closely with leadership to champion UI Health Care ambulatory primary care initiatives. In addition, Imborek will continue her clinical practice in the UI Department of Family Medicine.

2017 Kid Captain nominations now open

Do you know someone who would make a great Kid Captain for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes and UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital? This season marks the ninth consecutive year UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital is partnering with the Iowa Hawkeyes to feature stories of strength, courage, and inspiration. If your child has a life-changing story, consider nominating him or her for the 2017 Kid Captain program. Nominations are open until Friday, March 31, for current or former pediatric patients of UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital ages 18 and younger. Only parents and legal guardians may nominate their child. Children of any age may be nominated as an honorary (away game) Kid Captain. Due to sideline safety concerns, only children who will be 6 or older by December 2017 may be nominated as a home game Kid Captain. For more information or to nominate your child, please visit

Distraction app helps children during procedures

Distraction in Action teaches parents how to reduce the fear and anxiety their children may feel during a medical procedure such as a needle stick. Research indicates that more than 90 percent of children show signs of distress during routine immunizations. Distraction in Action empowers any parent to serve as a “distraction coach” during their child’s procedure. The program is easily accessible using the web browser on any smartphone, tablet, or computer. Developed by researchers from the University of Iowa College of Nursing and University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Distraction in Action gives parents the ability to have a direct, positive impact on their child’s health care experience. It is free to the public and available at For more information about Distraction in Action, contact

Interactive reminders now live

Interactive text and email appointment reminders went live last week. They allow patients to confirm or cancel their appointments directly from the text or email reminder, which is entered directly into Epic. Additional language options for visit reminders will soon be available. Patients can also schedule some of their own appointments through MyChart, and more clinics and visit types are being added. Learn more on The Loop.

Ethics conference set for May 19

Registration is now open for the Ethics in Healthcare 2017 conference to be held from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 19, in Room 2117 of the Medical Education and Biomedical Research Facility. Presenters will include faculty speakers from the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatric Surgery;  Karl Thomas, MD, from Wake Forest School of Medicine; and Peter Angelos, MD, from the MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics. This conference has been approved for CME and CEU credit. To register for the conference, call the UI Carver College of Medicine Continuing Medical Education Office at 335-8599 or register online at For more information about the conference, visit visit

Call for abstracts

The 2017 Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Cancer Program Symposium will be held on Saturday, April 29, in MERF. The University of Iowa AYA Cancer Program invites those with investigator initiated clinical trials to submit a proposal for seed funding. The project may originate in either pediatric or adult oncology, but must be inclusive to those ages 13 to 31. Based on the abstract, the review committee will decide which project to support. The selected project will then be presented at the 2017 AYA Cancer Symposium on Saturday, April 29. Submit your 1 to 2 page abstract to by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 14. Visit The Loop for more information.

It’s Patient Safety Awareness Week

The Patient Safety Team at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is excited to announce UI Health Care’s involvement in National Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 12 to 18, 2017. There will be a variety of speeches, webinars, and documentaries available to staff, patients, and their families during this important week. If you have questions regarding this event please call Clinical Quality, Safety, and Performance Improvement at 356-4311. See a full list of events on The Loop.

Celebrate health care HR week

The week of March 12 to 18, 2017, has been designated to recognize human resources professionals in health care. Do you know who your UI Health Care HR representative is? Find out! And recognize them for the work they do in workforce strategy, compensation and benefits, employee relations, and a myriad of other activities that are vital to our success.

Spring sale at UI Optical

UI Optical will have a sale on eyewear from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. Receive a 20 percent discount on eyewear purchases. Check out the many styles and frames available for all budgets at UI Optical. All current prescriptions are accepted at our two convenient locations: Pomerantz Family Pavilion (Elevator L, Level 2) or UI Health Care–Iowa River Landing, Level 2. Questions? Contact 384-9922 or

Financial planning course for caregivers starts soon

University of Iowa Family Services, in partnership with ISU Extension and Outreach, will offer the Finances of Caregiving course to help UI employees best understand their current financial situation and choices they will have to make when serving as caregiver to an elder relative or friend. This five-week program will run from Wednesday, March 22, through Wednesday, April 19, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Weeks one and five will meet on-campus at the University Capitol Centre (UCC). Weeks two through four will be held online. This course is offered at no cost to UI faculty and staff. Participants are allowed to bring a friend or relative, if preferred, at no cost. Learn more at Register today by emailing

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in any program, please contact the individual listed in the event announcement in advance at their provided contact information.

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