Letter from the Chair


Robert “Bobby” Turelli, MD, MA
Clinical Instructor
Chair, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Section, ACEP
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medicine
Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation
Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Director of CHI+CARE Initiative (Connecting HIV+ Patients with Community Care and Reliable Engagement)

As we launch into the Spring, it is valuable to reflect upon the section’s accomplishments and emphasize and expound on the future goals of the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) section.

The QIPS Section is dedicated to engaging the members of ACEP and emergency medicine physicians nationwide and abroad, in achieving the goals of improving the safety and quality of patient care that we are delivering in our emergency departments.

As emergency physicians, we have now successfully evolved into a powerful consortium of health care leaders, who through the influence of healthcare reform, have taken ownership and, more importantly, the lead on the expansive efforts of quality reporting, as well as the development and evolution of cost-containment strategies and value-based purchasing. With our constantly changing and evolving health care system, the novel ideas and inspirational leaders that exist amongst our group make the work performed by the QIPS section an increasingly valuable and fundamental contribution to our specialty.

In addition to a large variety of advocacy initiatives aimed at improving the quality of care we provide to our patients and over 400 active members with diverse backgrounds, the QIPS section is fundamental in spearheading multiple innovative projects in an effort to improve patient safety and providing the motivation and expertise to instill change in emergency medicine.

The QIPS section offers members a unique and instrumental opportunity to network with other individuals whose focus remains aimed at improving the science of quality, as well as enhancing the delivery of impeccable and unrivaled clinical care. Through the collaboration and sharing of ideas across the nation, QIPS offers our members the opportunity to advance their clinical practice in an unlimited capacity, making our section extremely unique, engaging, and one that will lead the future of the field of emergency medicine.

After our widely attended section meeting last October at ACEP14 in Chicago, I wanted to take the time to briefly reflect upon and thank those who contributed to the success of this meeting including Dainsworth Chambers, Diana Crowley, and Stacie Jones. In addition to the QIPS awards and QPC updates by Dr. Michael Phelan, the meeting included a very informative diagnostic errors briefing by Dr. David Meyers, as well as our honorable guest speaker, Dr. Donald Yealy, who spoke about the intriguing and influential Quality Sepsis Care ProCESS and ARISE Trials.

Lastly, at the annual meeting, the QIPS section had the honor of awarding two 2014 QIPS Resident Quality Improvement Awards: the Airway & Procedural Sedation Quality Committee at Northwestern University “Airway and Sedation Quality Improvement in the Emergency Department” as well as to the resident team led by Dr. Ryan Thompson at the University of Wisconsin Department of Emergency Medicine, “Pardon the Interruption(s) - Enabling a safer Emergency Department Sign-Out.”

All of us in the QIPS leadership are very proud of these award winning projects as well as the impressive submissions that we received from departments nationwide last year.

I also want to take the time to thank our outgoing Chair, Dr. Beach, for his amazing accomplishments over this past year. Through his guidance and the leadership of many of our past chairs, we have built up a powerful and influential section representing diverse backgrounds, a dynamic variety of expertise, and a multitude of areas of interest that make our section unlike any other section in ACEP.

The QIPS section has also received numerous awards for its contributions to the college, including the Service to College Award of Distinction and Best Newsletter for over 5 years in a row.

Our award-winning website is a platform for those interested in the most up-to-date quality and safety information.

In addition, our partnership with the Emergency Medicine Patient Safety Foundation (EMPSF) has allowed QIPS members to view EMPSF educational webinar series, become informed regarding CMS & EMTALA updates, and view speaker presentations from Patient Safety Summits.

Lastly, our section continues to host quarterly “all-section” conference calls to encourage open discussions on the topics most important to our current practices and address current issues that will be affecting all of our members in the future.

The QIPS section is committed to advancing the development of safety principles and encouraging and leading the growth and expansion of multiple quality improvement initiatives throughout all of our emergency departments.

In the upcoming year, with the help of our current leadership, we plan to continue the facilitation of our quarterly newsletters and section calls, as well as submitting a full proposal for the 2015 ACEP Section Grant award.

On January 27, 2015, QIPS hosted a complimentary webinar on “Patient Experience of Care in the Emergency Department,” in conjunction with the Emergency Medicine Practice Committee (EMPC).

During this webinar, we discussed the Emergency Department-Patient Experience of Care (ED-PEC) survey, currently being developed by CMS, as well as ACEP’s commentary on their draft survey instrument with insights from ACEP President-Elect Jay Kaplan, MD, FACEP. Also included during the webinar was a discussion focused on the EMPC recommendations on Patient Satisfaction instruments, and about useful alternatives to measure more meaningful patient experiences in your ED.

In the upcoming year, with the help of our new leadership, and ACEP staff, we aim to focus on taking on one of the most complex challenges our EDs are facing nationwide: the increasing usage of our EDs by what we have identified as “ED super-users”. Although frequently labeled as “frequent flyers,” this patient population is a group of individuals that represent one of the most vulnerable and in-need patient populations in the country.

One of the goals that we hope to accomplish in this upcoming year is to further the advancements of the delivery of quality care in emergency medicine by building a tool that will help identify at-risk individuals who present multiple times to the ED and are in need of a linkage-to-medical care. Once a patient is identified, the goal will be to work towards connecting these patients to consistent, ongoing medical care and a variety of resources that will address any barriers to care and ensure a successful engagement in the medical community, with the ultimate goal of decreasing ED utilization by this patient population.

The development of this model will hopefully lead to the development of a parallel and generalizable model of ED-based care-linkage that will be applicable for chronic disease conditions (such as un-treated patients living with Sickle-cell disease, Diabetes, etc.), and also to other high-risk populations that face psychosocial barriers to care engagement and retention in medical care.

The construction of such a linkage-to-care model will enhance the quality of health care we are able to provide in all ED settings while at the same time improving important EM quality metrics.

In the next year, our ultimate goal will be to establish a collaborative group that will work together to achieve these goals for these underserved populations, bringing us as emergency medicine physicians closer to our community partners, and ultimately improving the quality and excellent care we all strive to give the millions of patients we are seeing together as a group each year.

Thank you once again to our members for your continued support and a warm welcome to any new members or interested individuals joining QIPS; a truly dynamic and revolutionary ACEP section. As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions at any time and we look forward to working together in the next year.


Robert Turelli MD, MA
Clinical Instructor
Chair, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Section, ACEP
Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medicine
Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation
Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
Director of CHI+CARE Initiative (Connecting HIV+ Patients with Community Care and Reliable Engagement)


Back to Newsletter

Click here to
send us feedback