(Boston)--Justin Slade, a fourth-year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), recently was awarded the "Permanente Journal Service Quality Award" at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) National Forum. The award is to acknowledge excellence in quality improvement projects.
While a student at BUSM, Slade has brought local and national healthcare leaders to the University to speak with fellow students about patient safety and quality improvement. He also has recruited many of these same colleagues to either join or create their own quality improvement projects at Boston Medical Center (BMC)--the primary teaching hospital of BUSM.
Slade's past work focused on creating a more coordinated system of care for BMC's large population of patients with sickle cell disease. He is now working on a school-wide effort to have all medical students participate in department-defined quality initiatives during their clinical training at BMC. One component of this project includes third-year medical students on their internal medicine clerkship provide pre-discharge education to patients with limited health literacy. In doing so, he aims to improve medical students' patient education skills as well as patient satisfaction while reducing hospital readmissions. Preliminary data demonstrates that student counseling improves health literacy in these patients. Next year he plans to enter a residency training program in internal medicine.
Since 2007, The Permanente Journal has selected several quality improvement projects are presented at IHI's annual National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care to receive its "Service Quality Award."