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Chua, Nichols Complete Intermountain Healthcare Advanced Training

March 06, 2018

ELKINS, WV - Two members of the Davis Health System team were recognized for completing the Advanced Training Program in Health Care Delivery Improvement through Intermountain Healthcare. Carl Nichols, MBA, FACHE, Vice President of Professional Services for Davis Health System and Catherine M. Chua, DO, FAAFP, FMNM, Davis Health System physician and Chief Medical Officer completed the Intermountain Healthcare’s Advanced Training Program which is designed to give participants the understanding and tools necessary to conduct state-of-the-art clinical practice improvement projects, use quality improvement methods to manage and integrate non-clinical processes, implement quality improvement programs and conduct internal quality improvement training. Chua said there were many factors prompting her to complete this training.

“Intermountain Healthcare has long been one of the leaders in healthcare quality improvement. In fact, when former President Barack Obama was originally addressing healthcare, he said only three organizations were doing it right – The Mayo Clinic, the Cleveland Clinic and Intermountain Healthcare,” Chua said. “Carl Nichols and I were at another fellowship concerning population health with some of the leaders in healthcare improvement in the country and we were told multiple times, ‘this course is the best of the best if you want to improve the quality of your organization and health care delivery.”

“The experience was outstanding and brought us face-to-face with national experts in a myriad of key topics and issues facing healthcare delivery systems today,” said Nichols.  “Not only is Brent James, MD one of the most innovative leaders in country, he inspired us to really think about how to apply new methodologies at the local healthcare level.”

The Advanced Training Program through Intermountain Healthcare is a world renowned 20-day course in clinical quality improvement that was created by clinical quality improvement expert Brent C. James, MD, MStat and Intermountain Healthcare in 1992. ATP is designed to train a global cadre of healthcare professionals in the theory and application of cost and quality control, patient safety and change leadership as well as the health services academic infrastructure.

As part of the training, participants had to design an improvement project and Chua said her mission was to address the patient no-show rate for appointments and how that effects the patient’s ability to have access to healthcare.

“In diving into this issue, we realized that we had multiple systemic issues with scheduling and canceling patients,” Chua said. “We instituted what is called an A3 quality improvement project to address these errors. We are hoping that as a result of our interventions, patient access to providers will be improved. We are also currently working on many other A3’s including the referral process and scheduling of tests. We are using what we learned in the class and working with Tiffany Auvil, Director of Population Health here to expand our telemedicine program.”

Chua said according to the Harvard Business Review, healthcare will change more over the next 10 years than it has changed in the last 100 years, making trainings like the ATP through the Intermountain Healthcare necessary.

“Every day, it seems, the rules are changing. For so long, we, as healthcare providers and administrators have been averse to change,” Chua said. “We have always had a ‘that’s how we’ve always done it and it works’ kind of attitude. That isn’t going to work in the future of healthcare. Technology is advancing so quickly that if an organization doesn’t look to change, it will fail. Davis Health System serves a vital role in a rural community. If we don’t embrace and lead the change, our community health will suffer. We do not want that to happen.”

“I cannot say enough about how excited I am to have been able to be involved in the ATP program,” Chua said. “To sit in a classroom with some of the leaders of the major health systems in the country is humbling. We learned how to address quality from a systems level and were able to bring back tools plus a new excitement to help lead Davis into the next generation of healthcare.”