Patient Safety & Quality

Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Hospital are committed to providing educational opportunities to residents in quality improvement and patient safety.  Our residents are engaged in a variety of experiences to enhance their knowledge of patient safety and quality.


By the the end of residency, our residents will be able to complete the following objectives:


  • Describe fundamental principles of patient safety and quality improvement
  • Participate meaningfully in a culture of safety in a learning health system, including being able to detect, report and learn from medical errors
  • Analyze and develop a plan to improve care based upon quality data


If you have any questions about the education and opportunities for quality improvement or patient safety, please contact Emily Fondahn, MD.



Additional Opportunities

  • Patient Safety and Quality Lectures
    • Noon conference
      • Intro to PSQI
      • Patient Safety
      • Readmissions
      • Handoffs
      • Fundamentals of Quality Improvement
    • Intern didactics
      • Overview of Patient Safety Principles (New Physician Orientation)
      • LEAN/QI- 3 hour workshop during the Ambulatory Care Rotation
    • High-value Cost-conscious Care lectures
    • PGY3 residents are paired with a mentor to identify and present a patient case highlighting system-based issues that led to an error or near miss.


  • Participation in Hospital Safety Program
    • Safety Event Management System (SEMS) reporting
    • Monthly PSQI Conference
    • Participation in debriefs and root cause analysis


  • Diabetes Quality Improvement Project
    • Since 2008, the Primary Care Medicine Clinic has closely monitored quality metrics for patients with diabetes.  The clinic uses the metrics established by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).
    • Residents are provided monthly data on the clinic’s overall performance and their team’s overall performance on these quality metrics.  Our clinic has vastly improved control of hyperlipidemia, screening for nephropathy and treatment of nephropathy since this program was started.  Currently, we are working on increasing the rates of screening for neuropathy in our patients.  Residents are able (and encouraged!) to assist with diabetes-related quality improvement projects.

Residents with an interest in safety and quality can pursue a variety of other educational and experiential opportunities.


  • Patient Safety and Quality Elective
    • Two week elective that can be taken during the PGY-2 or PGY-3 year
    • Includes:
      • Didactic lectures in quality improvement and patient safety
      • Participation in hospital and university committees, including debriefs and root cause analysis
      • Involvement in planning and executing a quality improvement project
      • Opportunities to take classes in leadership, LEAN and change management at the Barnes Learning Institute


  • BJH Housestaff PSQI Committee
    • Interdisciplinary group of residents and faculty who meet monthly to discuss PSQI initiatives and foster collaborative projects


  • Primary Care Medicine Clinic Quality Improvement Committee
    • Multidisciplinary team including residents, attendings, clinic leadership, nursing, and pharmacy that meets monthly to discuss clinic issues
    • Meetings scheduled the first Monday of the month at 9am in the Clinic Conference Room
    • All residents invited to attend as their schedule allows


  • IHI Open School Certificate
    • Our department has an academic subscription to the IHI open school.  All residents and attendings are encouraged to obtain the IHI Open School Certificate

Examples of Resident PSQI Projects

Helpful Links

Residents have multiple opportunities to showcase their quality improvement and patient safety work including the annual Safety and Quality Symposium hosted by WashU/BJH/SLCH, the Internal Medicine Scholars Symposium, and regional/national meetings for ACP, SGIM and IHI.


See below for a sampling of the exceptional work our residents have done:

Washington University School of Medicine

Division of Medical Education

Campus Box 8121

660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110

p: (314) 362-8065    f: (314) 747-1080