Go to Site Home Page Go to University of Pittsburgh Home Page Go to UPMC Home Page
Erin Sullivan, MD and UPMC Presby Chosen as PI/Site for AHRQ Collaborative Research Study Aimed at Preventing Infections in Cardiac Surgery Patients

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) awarded a three year research grant of $4 million to the FOCUS initiative to improve teamwork to prevent infections in cardiac operations.  This research is a joint collaboration of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists (SCA) Foundation and the Quality and Safety Research Group (QSRG) at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

UPMC Presbyterian was chosen as one of seventeen sites throughout the US to participate in this study.  Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Director Erin Sullivan, MD will serve as the principal investigator.

Cardiac surgery is a high-risk procedure performed by a multidisciplinary team using complex tools and technologies.  Efforts to improve patient safety and reduce human error for cardiac surgical patients have been ongoing for more than a decade, yet the literature provides little guidance regarding best practices for hazard identification and interventions to effectively reduce risk. 

This three year study, led by Dr. Peter Pronovost, M.D., PhD, director of QSRG, uses the Comprehensive Unit Based Safety Program (CUSP) to improve teamwork and safety culture and technical interventions to prevent healthcare associated infections (surgical site infections, central line association bloodstream infections, and ventilator associated pneumonia). 

“This study will examine whether a collaborative program to reduce infections and improve teamwork is more effective than the traditional passive method of sharing outcome data.  This can positively impact cardiac surgery,” says Bruce Spiess, M.D., chair of the FOCUS initiative.  Pronovost believes "For too long efforts to improve safety have been independent rather than interdependent, competitive rather than cooperative, and focused on efforts rather than results.  In this project we will change this, working together, guided by science, informed by practice, we can reduce patient harm.”

The FOCUS initiative is a multi-year, multi-center initiative, designed to examine the physical and cultural environment of the cardiac surgery operating rooms, and will seek to define processes by which the cardiovascular operative teams can reduce the occurrence of human error.  Although every individual involved in cardiovascular operative patient care is dedicated to patient safety, the processes and communication patterns that exist frequently are inadequate to achieve the goal of absolute patient safety.  

FOCUS takes pride in bringing together the key stakeholders in the operative cardiovascular surgery arena to not only study human error/patient safety but to take on the larger mission of changing patient care for the better. The FOCUS leadership has met with official representatives from four other academic societies:  American Society of Extracorporeal Technology (AmSECT), Association of Operating Room Nurses (AORN), National Center for Human Factors Engineering in Healthcare (Medical HFE), the Society of Thoracic Surgeons  (STS), and official collaboration of each society with the FOCUS project is currently being discussed.

The first step in the FOCUS initiative was an in-depth observation of the physical, interpersonal, and cultural environment in the cardiovascular operating rooms.  The SCA Foundation funded the QSRG research team to conduct that baseline study.  The results of that research helped inform the design of the new AHRQ funded grant. 


Heiner | 14 Dec 2010 | rmj
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003