4:40 - 5:25 pmSaturday, September 6
Plenary Hall
Emerging trends in patient safety: The role of new technologies and empowered patients
Plenary Hall
Emerging trends in patient safety: The role of new technologies and empowered patients
Anesthesiologist, SHC
Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurosurgery
Safety Fellowship Director, Kaiser Permanente
ePatient Scholar; Healthcare Quality & Patient Safety Advocate
MD, Kaiser Permanente
Patient Safety has become an emerging field and is increasingly recognized as an area of scientific study. With the US facing an inability to provide high quality and consistent care despite massive... Read more


Patient Safety has become an emerging field and is increasingly recognized as an area of scientific study. With the US facing an inability to provide high quality and consistent care despite massive spending, Patient Safety and Quality Improvement movements have grown rapidly. Over the past decade, several well-respected institutions have founded programs to train leaders in the field, and hospitals have begun to institute formal programs and departments. However, formal training in Patient Safety and Quality Improvement is still a rarity, particularly among physicians. The proposed panel brings together the first three physicians fellowship-trained in Patient Safety in the Bay Area: Alex Dummett (Internal Medicine, Kaiser), Merritt McLean (Obstetics & Gynecology, Kaiser) and Loren Riskin (Anesthesiology, Stanford). The panel will also include recognized clinician leaders in the field, Paul Preston (Anesthesiology, Kaiser) and Keith Ruskin (Anesthesiology & Neurosurgery, Yale) and Meredith Hurston, a healthcare quality advocate with substantial experience in the field.

This interdisciplinary team will discuss emerging trends in patient-centered safety measures and the role novel technologies and clinical informatics have played in enhancing patient outcomes. The panel will talk about their experience using technology to mitigate the impact of error, lessons learned in involving patients in safety processes, and the role of a culture of safety. The overall theme will focus on the emerging roles of patients in hospital-based safety.

Loren Riskin has worked in policy, research, and technology in healthcare, always focusing on delivering value to patients and improving the system. Research and policy interests include patient safety, quality improvement, and healthcare information technology.

Loren won the AMA Leadership Award and has published on outcomes research, healthcare systems, and clinical anesthesia. Her academic background includes a degree in Ethics from Wellesley College, MD from Duke University, and anesthesia specialty training at Stanford University. She is completing Stanford's first fellowship in Quality Improvement & Perioperative Management.

Keith Ruskin's major academic interests include neurosurgical anesthesia, information systems and educational technology, human factors, and aerospace medicine. He has published book chapters, reviewed articles and scientific abstracts in each of these areas, and lectured internationally. Keith is also a commercial pilot with single- and multi-engine ratings and a DC-3 type rating.

Paul Preston is a staff anesthesiologist at the San Francisco Kaiser Permanente and a physician safety educator for the Permanente Medical Group. Dr. Preston’s training in Anesthesiology was at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He has been active for 14 years with simulation in Anesthesia, OB, ED and other environments, and has also taught extensively on error and human factors in the perinatal, OR and general medical areas. He is an IHI Improvement advisor and works with surgical team communications in this capacity.

Alex Dummett, MD is a co-founder and consultant for Health Fidelity and is a practicing Hospitalist for Kaiser South San Francisco. He is a Patient Safety and Quality Fellow at Kaiser Northern California, working with the division of research, local regional quality and graduate medical education departments learning and helping develop performance improvement and quality. Alex works with Kaiser's Mobility Center of Excellence, helping to develop their clinical portfolio. 

Following residency in 2008-2011, Alex was the chief resident at Kaiser Santa Clara 2011-2012, and is also in the process of developing a regional Clinical Informatics fellowship for Northern California Kaiser. In addition, he mentors high school students for the SMASH program and college students for Meyerhoff program.

Alex earned his medical degree from George Washington University and is board certified in internal medicine as of September 2012. He is also in the process of completing a series of Health Information Technology Professional exams offered by NOVA and AHIMA sponsored by Office of the national coordinator.

Meredith Hurston is a QA Technologist and Patient Safety Data Coordinator for the Department of Pathology at Johns Hopkins. In this role, she coordinates and displays department quality and performance improvement indicators to internal committees and throughout the institution. Meredith also facilitates the department QA workgroup meetings and presents to senior level administrators and providers in the departmental performance improvement meeting. Other responsibilities include review, investigation and analysis of pathology-related patient safety events reported through the health system's electronic event reporting system. She serves as the division liaison to Emergent Action Team Committee and Patient ID Taskforce. Her role also includes monitoring of laboratory compliance with regulatory standards and national patient safety goals through self-inspection. This responsibility includes performing CAP peer inspection of clinical laboratory operations at other Johns Hopkins Medicine entities and outside institutions. Meredith is also currently pursuing Green Belt certification for Lean Sigma.

In addition to her primary role, Meredith concurrently owns M Squared Healthcare Consulting Agency, under which she operates The Empowered Mocha Patient Blog as an online healthcare resource for the African-American Community.

Merritt McLean works at Kaiser Permanente and is committed to preventative health, to effective care delivery, and to the community at large. Through a strong integrated health system she delivers efficient, evidence-based care. Merritt completed medical school at Yale University and her residency at Kaiser Permanente; she is staying on at Kaiser to study the ways the healthcare system can be improved through the Interprofessional Fellowship in Patient Safety.

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