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What Does a Hospital Medicine Fellow in Quality & Patient Safety Do?

March 5, 2020

As a hospital medicine physician, the primary goal is to provide exceptional, evidence-based, patient-centered care to adult patients who are acutely ill in the hospital. We take care of patients with heart attacks, pneumonia, cancer, infections and all sorts of complicated and often life-threatening conditions. Internal medicine residency training prepares us well for this job. However, the responsibilities of an academic hospitalist reach well beyond this primary goal.

As academic hospitalists, we are also asked to be impactful and inspiring educators and to contribute meaningfully to our field. Oh yeah — and hospitalists are increasingly expected to be systems leaders, taking responsibility for not only treating the patients in front of us but to improve the quality and safety of the systems around us in which we work.

To develop these specific skill sets and ensure we are creating faculty colleagues who will thrive and lead across all of these domains, we developed the Hospital Medicine Fellowship in Quality and Patient Safety at Dell Medical School. This one-year program provides recent residency graduates with the experiences, mentorship and dedicated training needed to become academic hospital medicine leaders, well-versed and effective at leading changes that ensure the highest safety and quality of care for our patients.

Saurin Gandhi headshot.

Saurin Gandhi, D.O.

Our first-ever hospital medicine fellow is Saurin Gandhi, D.O., a graduate of our own Dell Med Internal Medicine Residency. In addition to a talented artist who specializes in medical anatomy art, Gandhi is a dedicated medical educator and safety champion. As our hospital medicine fellow, he is responsible for building the safety curriculum, reviewing and addressing safety events, participating in quality improvement initiatives, promoting QI engagement and education and instructing residents and medical students in clinical medicine at Dell Med.

When we set out to create the fellowship, we had many dreams about what our first hospital medicine fellow would accomplish. Gandhi quickly exceeded those goals. To give you a good idea of what exactly a Hospital Medicine Fellow in Quality and Patient Safety at Dell Med does, here is a brief overview of what he was able to accomplish within his first six months of fellowship.

As a fellow, Gandhi:

  • Developed, organized, primary-authored and published a 68-page Handbook of Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, which contains sections authored by 20 providers within the Division of Hospital Medicine. Other departments are interested in adapting this work for their own groups.
  • Co-led Patient Safety and Mortality Committee work, including reviewing error reports and helping build a new robust infrastructure for case reviews.
  • Attended on the Green “Innovations” Ward Team, leading Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycles during clinical ward rotations.
  • Helped develop root-cause analyses for the Division of Hospital Medicine.
  • Presented a systems-based morbidity and mortality conference to our faculty and trainees.
  • Attended numerous conferences, including the Society of Hospital Medicine Quality and Safety Educators Academy, the SHM Academic Hospitalist Academy, the Value Institute for Health and Care’s Implementing High-Value Health Care workshop and the Distinction Program for Care Transformation workshops.
  • Co-authored an invited commentary on how to implement high-value care training in graduate medical education in the peer-reviewed Journal of Graduate Medical Education.
  • Is updating a chapter in Texas Medical Association’s Patient Safety and Medical Errors course.
  • Is co-leading and coordinating two faculty development workshops, specifically teaching “Leading Effective and Efficient Teaching Rounds,” “The Art of the Chalk Talk” and “Teaching Clinical Reasoning” to faculty.

Gandhi has laid a remarkable foundation for this program, and we now look forward to continuing to grow the program and impact of our hospital medicine fellowship.