Principal Investigator: Rajesh N. Keswani, MD
Among the busiest digestive disease centers in the country, Northwestern Medicine (NM) manages some 35,000 GI endoscopy procedures and more than 42,000 outpatient clinic visits a year. NM clinicians strive to deliver high quality, patient-centered cost-effective care with every patient encounter. Improving the quality of care relies on measuring clinical performance (i.e., “quality metrics”), implementing interventions to improve care delivery, and then re-measuring quality following the interventions. Our group utilized this approach to markedly improve the quality of colonoscopy at Northwestern thereby reducing the risk of colon cancer death after colonoscopy in the patients we serve, and subsequently published this innovative work in a leading journal (American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2015). Although the NM digestive health group has considerable quality improvement expertise, each initiative requires an analyst who has the computer and statistical skills to collect patient and procedure data from the electronic health record and interpret that data in a continuous fashion. The lack of a dedicated analyst has been a persistent bottleneck to replicating this approach to quality improvement research. Funding of the programmer analyst position will now allow the group to support multiple novel quality improvement projects and improve the efficiency of current research efforts.