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Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Section Newsletter - October 2014

Letter From the Chair

Beach2014Having recently had the pleasant-and-cognitively non-taxing (not!) opportunity to perform awake fiberoptic intubation on a few patients, it seemed like a good time to review some of the history of airway management and discuss current training in advanced airway skills for EM.

Prior to 1878, the management of airway problems was predominantly performed through tracheostomy or blind intubation.  Tracheostomy had been used for thousands of years to manage airway obstruction.  In 1880, a Scottish physician, Sir William Macewen, described passing an oral tube into the trachea after having practiced digital intubation on cadavers.  From 1885 to the early 1900s physicians like Joseph O’Dwyer, George Fell and Hans Kuhn modified flexible tubes to relieve airway obstruction in patients with diphtheria.  During this time and through World War I, where many casualties required intubation, development of direct laryngoscopy and tracheal intubation occurred.

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QIPS TIPS Optimizing Work at Night

Shari WelchThere is no arguing that fatigue and working against one’s circadian rhythm are associated with medical errors and are costly to the provider in terms of personal health. Are there recommended strategies to make night shifts “more healthful”? One of the largest studies of shift work and scheduling strategies was reported in Ergonomics in 2010 and it involved 4600 steel workers. A number of scheduling models were tested and the model that rotated shift workers forward (day to evening to night) with extra time allotted after the night shift was associated with decreased illness and absenteeism. Night workers tend to catch up on sleep on their nights off so this also helped the workers to catch up on overall sleep deficits. Of particular note, the older workers demonstrated the most benefit from the new model and this has implications for the aging workforce.

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Call for Nominations: QIPS Officers

The QIPS Section is accepting nominations for a one-year term to the following positions:

  • Secretary/Newsletter Editor
  • Website Editor (no technical or design experience is necessary)


If you are interested in getting more involved in the QIPS Section, becoming a Section Officer is a great way to do so. You can nominate any of your colleagues, or you can nominate yourself as well.  Please submit your nomination by email to Dainsworth Chambers or in person at the annual meeting on Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 12:00 p.m. at McCormick Place West in room W 186 B. Lunch will be available at 11:30 a.m. courtesy of our sponsor, TEVA.

Nominees should be prepared to offer a brief bio or statement at the section meeting.

Read More for a list of duties associated with each position.

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Letter From the Editor

Jeff PothofAs the days get shorter and the nights more crisp, we bring you the last newsletter prior to our ACEP 14 in Chicago October 27-30, 2014.  Over the summer, several QIPS leaders were busy preparing lectures for the United Kingdom’s College of Emergency Medicine’s Annual Scientific Conference in the southwest city of Exeter.

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Good Standards Back on Track

Jaben 2014Your leaders have decided that “Pull to Full” is just what the ED needs to improve patient satisfaction. After all, the faster they see the doctor, the happier they will be. It seems straightforward and shouldn’t be hard for staff to just do it. Others have reported its success. We need to do it- it is not optional. But, is it really that easy? And is it really that straightforward?

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QIPS Resident Quality & Safety Award

Established in 2010, the QIPS Resident Quality & Patient Safety Award is presented to a resident or residents with outstanding innovations in advancing quality and/or patient safety. There were many applicants this year, and several displayed a remarkable ability to impact quality and safety.  Projects were evaluated based on criteria that included overall importance of the project, innovation, approach, and applicability to the practice of emergency medicine.

The following projects: “Pardon the Interruption(s)—Enabling a Safer Emergency Department Sign-Out,” and “Airway and Sedation Quality Improvement in the Emergency Department,” were ranked highest by the evaluation committee and are the recipients of the 2014 Resident Quality Improvement & Patient Safety Award.  

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