This winter I was given the opportunity to perform a general internship for the Kettering Health Network in the Advanced Care Department. The Kettering Health Network (KHN) is a non-profit network of eight hospitals, nine emergency departments, and over 120 outpatient facilities throughout Southwest Ohio, all of whom follow the mission to improve the quality of life of the people in the communities they serve through health care and education. The network does this by offering patients advance cancer fighting technology, high qualities for maternity care, brain and spinal surgery, and leading Ohio in cardiac care. Kettering strives for excellence and ensuring patients are given the best experience possible, following the key values of being Trustworthy, Innovative, Caring, Competent, and Collaborative; encouraging all patients to choose “K for Life,” but you can learn more at http://www.ketteringhealth.org/. KHN works directly with the public to promote better health practices, provide outpatient support, and encourage a healthier community through increasing public awareness, health screenings, and patient centered care.
My role in the network is as a general intern working for Dr. Abi Katz D.O., an Antioch Alumni from the class of ’86. Dr. Katz is the Director of Operations of the Post-Acute Care Continuum. She is a doctor specializing in palliative medicine, the medical practice of relieving symptoms, pains, and stresses of serious and chronic illness. I work with her directly by researching, attending meetings, taking notes, creating PowerPoints and spreadsheets, and working on various projects. The project that I have spent a majority of the last two months working on is the Medication Reconciliation Project, which has allowed me to meet with various physicians, nurses, and pharmacists throughout the Kettering Medical Center, the hospital where I primarily work. Medication Reconciliation (med recon for short) is the process of reviewing a patient’s medications and reconciling any possible errors, like duplications, dosage and frequency errors, and potential adverse drug interactions (for a little more information, visit http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=414912). The intention of this project is to identify areas within the med recon process that could be improved and disseminating this information in the hopes that it will lead to a reduction of these events. I am currently working on a series of work flows that may be used in the future as educational materials for physicians learning med recon.
It is difficult to describe my daily experience, mainly because each day was generally different from the last. My day usually consisted of any combination of the following: researching various topics of information that relates to one of the projects or is something Dr. Katz needs for a reference, creating PowerPoints and Excel spreadsheets to record information and data, meeting with individuals for information on projects, attending larger meetings and taking notes, creating or modifing flow charts that outline systems within the network, transcribing physical information into a digital format, communicating with various members of the network through emails, driving to various locations for meetings, reading articles for information, and meeting with Dr. Katz periodically. Another aspect of my internship has been learning through online modules from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, which have been instructing me on a number of topics that relate to establishing quality improvement projects, ensuring patient safety and centeredness, and leadership skills. After completing all sixteen modules, I was recently able to earn the IHI Open School Certificate of Completion- Basic Level. If you would like to look and take any course, all you need to do is register at http://app.ihi.org/lms/home.aspx.
I am currently a Biomedical Science major, and this Co-op has given me a great opportunity to explore the administrative side of medicine, as well as allowed me to learn of the complexity of the healthcare system. Working in the Advanced Care Department, I have been able to assist in the development of projects and reference materials that will help Dr. Katz as she continues her efforts in improving the quality of patient care for the Kettering Health Network.
Photo credit: Kettering Health Network – http://ketteringhealth.org/mediaroom/articles/index.cfm?x=316#storytop