DDW News

Special session will showcase several fellow-directed quality-improvement projects for GI care

One of AGA’s key missions is to develop opportunities for trainees at DDW® to showcase their knowledge and accomplishments and help build their careers.

During a special AGA Committee Sponsored Symposium on Sunday, more than two dozen fellows will present five oral presentations and 20 posters across the breadth of GI and hepatology clinical practice. The session, Advancing Clinical Practice: GI Fellow-Directed Quality-Improvement Projects, is part of AGA’s trainee and early career GI programming at DDW and was put together by the AGA Training Subcommittee with help from members of the AGA Young Delegates program.

“Trainees taking the lead in improving quality of care has been happening for a long time,” said Rajesh N. Keswani, MD, MS, associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago. “However, only recently have we begun to understand just how successful trainee-inspired and trainee-led improvement projects can be. We want to specifically highlight interventions where trainees have taken the lead to improve the care of their local patient population. Our goal is that trainees present their work so that other trainees and established physicians can learn from the experience and apply the lessons to their own practice.”

The five quality improvement projects that will be discussed in the session’s oral presentations are disparate in focus, Dr. Keswani said, and include projects in liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colon cancer screening.

“What binds them together is that trainees have all tried to make an improvement in their own institutions,” he said. “The lack of a specific clinical focus is deliberate. It’s easy to approach a clinical session wearing one’s own clinical blinders. Hepatologists focus on liver disease presentations and IBD specialists pay closer attention to IBD topics, while GI oncologists filter out everything except cancer care.”

Dr. Keswani wants clinicians who attend the session to take a broader approach by seeing multiple examples where simple quality improvement ideas drive big change. Attendees can then apply a similar framework to their own practice.

“Even if you are a liver specialist, the structure that an IBD project utilized to make an improvement in quality performance can be universal,” Dr. Keswani said. “No matter what patient population you take care of, you can learn from these projects.”

It also helps that every DDW attendee, regardless of specialty, practice setting or professional role, has been a trainee, Dr. Keswani added.

“We all have a real desire to support trainees because we have all been there,” he said. “To be able to see this kind of success on the part of trainees helps us reflect on our own practices and our own potential for quality improvement.”

Please refer to the DDW Mobile App or the Program section in Sunday’s DDW Daily News for additional details on this and other DDW events.

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