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School Research on Improving Patient Care in Hospitals Wins Top Journal Award

April 29, 2014
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Pictured: Howard Gitlow (left), professor of management science; and Steve Ullmann, professor of management and director of the School's Center for Health Sector Management and Policy.

A paper focusing on preventable adverse events in hospitals, co-authored by two School of Business professors, has been selected as a 2014 Highly Commended Paper winner for International Journal of Lean Six Sigma.

The causes of never events in hospitals,” by Howard Gitlow, professor of management science, Steve Ullmann, professor of management, and several co-authors, suggests a model for best practice protocols to prevent patient falls, pressure ulcers, and hospital-acquired pneumonia – so called “never events.”

The researchers identified two types of factors that affect many types of never events. The first are uncontrollable patient-related factors such as age, disease type, vision status and skin integrity. The second are controllable environmental-related factors that happen once a patient enters the hospital such as bed restraints, medications, and physical therapy.

The researchers then developed a suite of tools and methods to be tested in hospitals for their applicability in eliminating never events. They are now working with the University of Miami’ UHealth System and Quantros Corporation to develop best practice methods for the prevention of never events.

The research is the result of a grant to the School’s Center for Health Sector Management and Policy.

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