University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

School of Medicine and Health Sciences joins Best Practices for Better Care

The School of Medicine and Health Sciences has announced its participation in Best Practices for Better Care (BPBC), a new, multi-year initiative of the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals that focuses the unique missions of academic medicine—medical education, patient care and research—on the challenge of improving the quality and safety of health care.

As a participant in BPBC, UND’s SMHS has committed to implement the campaign’s five initial components, including:

  • teaching the next generation of doctors about the importance of quality and patient safety
  • ensuring safer surgery through use of surgical checklists
  • reducing infections from central lines using proven protocols
  • reducing hospital readmissions for high-risk patients
  • researching, evaluating and disseminating new and improved practices

BPBC is sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges, the not-for-profit association that represents the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals.

“Best Practices for Better Care is the only initiative focusing on the quality and safety of patient care that includes medical schools, teaching hospitals, doctors and researchers,” said AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, M.D. “This effort will make care safer when patients are in the hospital; help keep them well once they leave; and put the training, analysis and systems in place to improve quality and safety everywhere patient care is taught, provided and studied.”

Through BPBC, UND and other participating institutions will improve care today by broadly implementing proven practices pioneered by teaching hospitals to ensure safer surgeries, reduce infections and cut hospital readmissions. The campaign also will improve care in the future by ensuring that medical students and residents are schooled in these best practices and that quality and safety is emphasized in medical education from day one. In addition, through the campaign’s research and evaluation component, participating institutions will study and spread knowledge about what works best in order to continually improve.

Metrics have been established for each of the five best practices. The AAMC expects to issue the campaign’s first progress report no later than February 2012.

For more information on Best Practices for Better Care, visit

-- Denis MacLeod, assistant director, Office of Alumni and Community Relations, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 777-2733,

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