Clinical Effectiveness and Quality Improvement

Penn Medicine’s Clinical Effectiveness and Quality Improvement (CEQI) team focuses on patient safety and how to prevent harm to patients in all health care settings. CEQI leads the efforts of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) to create a safer environment for patients, employees, and visitors, as well as guiding appropriate resource use and directing quality improvement initiatives through an evidence-based approach. Through this important work, CEQI supports the health system mission to achieve patient care excellence, educational pre-eminence, and development of new knowledge in patient safety and high-quality care.

Informatics and Patient Safety

CEQI will contribute a patient and workplace safety lens to the Center for Applied Health Informatics. Future patient safety efforts will focus on harm prevention though comparative and predictive analytics to detect potential harm before it can affect a patient. This work will connect frontline caregivers with actionable, real-time data, and will support Penn Medicine’s journey toward becoming a High Reliability Organization (HRO). 

In the initial months of the pandemic, CEQI was instrumental in building and supporting testing sites and a command center to provide testing and information services to the community. CEQI team members worked with emergency management, Information Services (IS), the Office of the Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) , and even Telecom to ensure that physical resources as well as the health informatics infrastructure were put in place in order to get timely test results to Penn Medicine patients and community members. 

CEQI also served a key role in Penn Medicine’s telemedicine  transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

When the health system transitioned rapidly to telemedicine appointments at the beginning of the pandemic, operations was the main focus by necessity. As the pandemic evolved, CEQI recognized that Penn Medicine also had to examine patient and workplace safety in light of the emergency clinical and operational changes being put into place. For example, CEQI gathered a large group of experts from across the system and performed a virtual FMEA (failure mode event analysis) for telemedicine. This process enabled the group to look for potential patient harm within new processes and prioritize the improvements that had been identified through the FMEA, such as better pre- and post-appointment processes for telemedicine visits.  

CEQI collaborates by design and by necessity to keep Penn Medicine safe and effective. 
As such, it is well positioned to support and advance the goals of the Center for Applied Health Informatics. 

CEQI’s ability to analyze patient safety events and make correlations between other key data sources including demographics, EHR, OSHA, Security, Occupational Health, and Vizient allows it to more effectively identify and target interventions to improve clinical outcomes. Ultimately, CEQI’s goal of improving care quality and patient and clinician safety dovetails with the Center’s mission to bring about better outcomes for all participants in the health system through the strategic coordination of people, information, and technology.