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D epartment

of

M edicine

Con ne c ti ng T e c h n o lo g y , Ed uca t i o n a n d D i s cove ry w ith H um anis m in Me dicine

Vol. 5, Issue 2: Apr. 2016

Quality Measures I will follow that system of regimen which, according to my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. – The Hippocratic Oath Analysis of quality measures is a contemporary innovation that helps physicians fulfill the ancient covenant they have with their patients: to follow the regimen that will benefit them. Given the blizzard of information available today, knowing which regimen will

patient, our focus should be on how well we achieve that goal, and our

best benefit the patient can be challenging. Quality as measured

data and compensation should reflect that. Of course, we will need to

through process and outcome measures is the foundation for best

be vigilant for the inevitable unintended consequences of change and

practice recommendations. They are also the criteria used for health

be prepared to modify practices and how we measure quality as new

care compensation, as we transition from keeping track of processes

knowledge becomes available. We will also need to find ways to link

to monitoring outcomes. While hospitals have been operating in a

quality and process measures to other contributors to health, such

“pay for performance” model for several years, physicians will soon

as personal motivation, treatment compliance, resources, and social

be under the same model. According to Dr. Inga Himelright, Chief

determinants of health.

Quality Officer for UHS, this transition will ultimately foster alignment

Dr. Juli Williams, Medical Director of the UT Internal Medicine

between physicians and other providers to ensure the best possible

Center, says that Graduate School of Medicine personnel pull up

quality health care for patients.

data on tests like mammograms, colonoscopies, and hemoglobin A1C

Dr. Himelright explained that the focus on quality measures is the

levels for diabetics, to analyze how often these are checked, as well

right step on the journey to an optimal health care system. Since the

as what the results were. “We are also tracking smoking cessation

ultimate goal of every health care encounter is enhanced health for the

continued on page 2

Points of View

get an additional fellow for a total of seven fellows in cardiology. This fellowship provides an additional year of cardiology training

On behalf of all the members of the

in interventional procedures, such as balloon angioplasty and

Department of Medicine, I would like to

placement of stents in patients with coronary artery disease.

share our excitement about starting two

Fellows are trainees who have completed specialty training (e.g.

new fellowships, namely pulmonary and

in medicine) or super-specialty training (e.g. in cardiology). Thus,

critical care and interventional cardiology,

fellows are already fully licensed physicians and function at a junior

in the department beginning in July

consultant level. They acquire in-depth knowledge of their discipline

2016. The Department of Medicine has

during their training so that they are able to serve as independent

been striving to offer more fellowships. Rajiv Dhand, MD, Chair

consultants at the conclusion of their training. Fellows are an

In particular, we have actively pursued a

excellent resource for training residents and medical students and

critical care medicine fellowship for the

for promoting effective patient care. As part of their training, they

past several years. With the addition of critical care medicine to our

are also expected to participate in research and other scholarly

current pulmonary fellowship, we will provide an additional year of

activities that bring recognition and acclaim to the department. The

training and recruit two additional fellows for a total of six fellows.

addition of fellows also helps us to expand the pool of applicants who

We will also be starting an interventional cardiology fellowship and 1

continued on page 2

In Touch Newsletter - April 2016  

A quarterly newsletter for the Department of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine.

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