Staff at OxSTaR have been at the forefront of a new initiative designed to help recently qualified doctors improve patient safety in the Oxford University Hospitals Trust.

Newly qualified doctors consider how to improve patient safety

The idea for the new scheme came out of OxSTaR’s ‘Human Factors Training’ course. This course trains health-care professionals to be aware of the varying interactions between individuals, teams, equipment, and environment. It provides strategies to change behaviour in order to minimise errors that harm patients.

OxSTaR used the insights gained from delivering this course to develop a scheme for second-year foundation doctors (doctors in their second year of work after qualifying). The doctors were asked to carry out small Quality Improvement Projects (QIPs) focusing on improving patient safety and involving multidisciplinary teams. OxSTaR has steered these projects over the past year, and provided guidance to the recently qualified doctors involved.

On Friday 4 July the doctors presented the results of their projects at the inaugural Oxford University Hospitals Trust Foundation Year Quality Improvement Symposium in Tingewick Hall.

There were over 100 attendees, including foundation year doctors, other members of the multidisciplinary team who helped with projects, and people involved in education, quality and strategy. There were 53 excellent posters to review, covering such themes as handover (exchange of information between teams due to changes in shifts), infection control, massive haemorrhage and prescribing error. The second-year foundation doctors had clearly worked very hard over the past year to produce meaningful Quality Improvement Projects with outcomes focused on improving patient care.

Judging was based on quality of design, multidisciplinary team involvement, outcome measures and plans for sustaining the project. The eight best posters went through to oral presentation and these projects all automatically received a commendation for quality.

The seven judges (Dr Tony Berendt, Dr Sue Burge, Mr Tony Jefferis, Dr Jim Newton, Dr Ian Reckless, Dr Helen Salisbury and Dr Peter Sullivan) had an extremely difficult job deciding the winners, who were presented with their prizes by Dr Andrew Woodhouse.

This year’s winners are:

  • 1st Prize - Dr Karin Purshouse and Dr Tom Oakley: DART: On Target for Safe Prescribing
  • 2nd Prize - Dr Neil Gallacher and Dr Vikash Mistry: Simulation Training in the Adult Major Haemorrhage Protocol
  • 3rd Prize - Dr Stephen Hibbs, Dr  Aynsley Bruce and Dr Matthew Hart: Mind The Gap – Improving Discharge Communication between Secondary and Primary Care

Other presentations which made it through to the oral presentation stage:

  • Dr Duncan Sconce: Erectile Dysfunction in Type II Diabetes Mellitus – Clinical and Financial Implications in Primary Care
  • Dr Edward Maile and Dr Helen MacMullen: Move, Eat and Treat – How to Deliver Effective Lifestyle Advice
  • Dr Robert Shaw and Dr Emma Simpson: The Many Forms of Handover
  • Dr Viabhav Tripathi: Better Use of the Diabetic Specialist Inpatient Team
  • Dr Jacqueline Callear, Dr Franki Harrington, Dr Elsa Butrous and Dr Jessie Gil: SHO Handovers at the Trauma Unit

Best poster:

  • Dr Lucy Luo:  Promoting Hepatitis B Vaccination in Drug Users in a Primary Care Setting

Highly commended posters:

  • Dr Amun Sachdev: Performance of Fundoscopy During the Acute Medical Take
  • Dr Charlotte Richardson: Multidisciplinary Workshop Improves Medical Students Understanding of Disability in Older Patients

Many of the doctors have identified further work that can be tested and implemented to improve safety. This will be built into the QIPs for 2015. We are looking forward to an even bigger event next year to celebrate the talent within the ranks of our foundation doctors. Their legacy for the future will be to ensure that improving patient outcomes is at the heart of these QIPs.