Quality Improvement and Patient Safety


Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Initiatives are important components of medical student and graduate medical education at our institution, The UT College of Medicine Chattanooga and Erlanger Health System.  


IHI Open School

On a national and now international scale, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the Open School concept was launched in September 2008.  The mission of the IHI is to advance health care improvement and patient safety competencies in the next generation of health professionals worldwide. The IHI provides students of medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, health administration, dentistry, and other allied health professions with the opportunity to learn about quality improvement and patient safety at no charge. The online, educational community features a growing catalog of online courses, extensive content and resources, and a network of local Chapters that organize events and activities on campuses around the world.


Currently, leaders from both institutions comprise a Quality Improvement and Patient Safety advisory group to foster education and collaboration about quality improvement and patient safety initiatives throughout the organization: 

  • Robert Fore, EdD, Associate Dean/DIO
  • Pamela Gordon, Erlanger Vice President for Patient Safety and Quality
  • Olukayode Akinlaja, MD, Associate Program Director, OB/GYN
  • Mike Bettinger, Director, Erlanger Process Improvement Officer
  • Jennifer Dooley, MD, Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
  • W. Heath Giles, MD, Program Director, Surgery Residency
  • Jacob Hennings, MD, Emergency Medicine Faculty
  • Jan Keys, DNP, RN, Erlanger Chief Nursing Officer
  • Alan Kohrt, MD, Chair, Department of Pediatrics
  • Mukta Panda, MD, Assistant Dean for Medical Student Education
  • Michael Shepherd, MD, Family Medicine Faculty
  • Debbie Shepherd, Erlanger Chief Safety Officer

 We have established an Annual Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Day to highlight patient safety and quality improvement activities among our residents, fellows, medical students, faculty, and hospital health care team members.  The first event was held May 16, 2014, and was an overwhelming success.  The 4th Annual Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Day is scheduled for May 12, 2017, in Probasco Auditorium.  Interested medical students, residents, fellows, faculty, nursing and other healthcare workers may submit a proposal for consideration to the Quality Improvement and Patient Safety leadership group.  Proposals must be submitted to Dr. Fore by March 27, 2017.  The Advisory Committee will meet to select projects for presentation the first week in April.


Anyone submitting a proposal must submit first to the Institutional Review Board to determine if the project is exempt from IRB approval, requires expedited approval from the IRB Chair, or requires consideration and approval from the full IRB.  The rationale is that, in order to be considered for later presentation or publication outside our institution, IRB review will likely be required.  Stacey Hendricks, IRB Coordinator, can be contacted regarding appropriate review and forms required by the IRB -- either Form B or Form H (stacey.hendricks@erlanger.org or by phone 423-778-6185).  


Click on these links on the right-hand menu for submitting proposals, conducting your PS/QI project, proposal submission forms, and components that must be included in your proposal and presentation.


Click on the links below (or on the left-hand menu) for information about the IHI Open School Chapter and Erlanger Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Initiatives:

For more information about the Erlanger Quality Improvement and Patient Safety programs, please contact:

Revised 1/17/2017

UT College of Medicine Chattanooga     960 East Third Street, Suite 100     Chattanooga, TN 37403     (800)947-7823, ext 6956     info@utcomchatt.org

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