Independent review highlights safety focus, recommends improvements to patient care at MSU, Dec. 29, 2017

Michigan State University HealthTeam’s medical policies and procedures reflect accepted and reliable best practices, and focus on caring and patient safety, says a new report prepared by national health care management experts.

The report, written by Willis Towers Watson, a global advisory firm that helps assess quality and manage risk scenarios in a health care setting, is the latest in a series of third-party quality and safety assurance reviews commissioned by MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon this past spring. Reviews of the policies and procedures for athlete healthcare and the Title IX office have also been conducted.

Overall, the national experts were encouraged by the amount of time MSU has dedicated to improving risk management, patient safety programs, and other policies and procedures within all of the university’s clinics and medical offices. They also offered additional suggestions to help further develop patient safety strategies in order to continue to ensure a secure environment.

Fourteen positive findings were revealed in the report including the updated chaperone and confidentiality policies. The reviewers complimented MSU’s structured process for the communication and training of these policies. Also highlighted was the investment in and implementation of the new electronic medical record system. The system, which was launched in November 2016, greatly improves efficiency and patient care.

Reviewer recommendations included expanding the role, function and oversight of the risk manager position. The scope of the current position has grown leading the reviewers to suggest adding additional staff. Also, while there is strong support for the risk management function, the structure of the office can lead to breakdowns in communication. Reviewers recommended forming a centralized risk management committee to oversee risk management policies.

The release of the report comes as the HealthTeam transitions to new leadership.

Long-time chief executive officer, Richard Ward, will retire after 10 years of service on Jan. 31, 2018. Michael A. Herbert has been selected for the role and is working with Ward to ensure a smooth transition. Herbert has extensive experience as a senior academic healthcare executive specializing in medical schools, hospitals and group practice. Previously Herbert served as the senior vice president of Beaumont Health System and executive director of Beaumont Medical Group. He also has served in leadership roles at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the University of Michigan Hospital and School of Medicine.

The MSU HealthTeam is an organization of approximately 260 providers from 14 clinical departments and many allied health professionals such as nurses, psychologists, social workers, therapists and nutritionists. Members of the group practice, representing the Colleges of Human Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Nursing, are actively engaged in teaching, research and direct patient care.