Patient Safety & Quality

The Importance of Patient Safety & Quality (PS&Q)

Patient Safety is a foundational piece of the philosophy of Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC). NGMC is dedicated to building Safety CHAMPS in healthcare. That said, there are numerous ways that safety and quality can be impacted. Wellness, fatigue, unwillingness to ask questions, or even not having the willingness to speak up, can all lead to increased risk which result in potential safety incidents and/or errors. The ACGME believes in the importance of education around patient safety and quality improvement, stating the following in their program requirements:

β€œAll physicians share responsibility for promoting patient safety and enhancing quality of patient care. Graduate medical education must prepare residents to provide the highest level of clinical care with continuous focus on the safety, individual needs, and humanity of their patients. It is the right of each patient to be cared for by residents who are appropriately supervised; possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities; understand the limits of their knowledge and experience; and seek assistance as required to provide optimal patient care. Residents must demonstrate the ability to analyze the care they provide, understand their roles within health care teams, and play an active role in system improvement processes. Graduating residents will apply these skills to critique their future unsupervised practice and effect quality improvement measures. It is necessary for residents and faculty members to consistently work in a well-coordinated manner with other health care professionals to achieve organizational patient safety goals.”

Furthermore, the ACGME says the following specifically about Patient Safety:

β€œA culture of safety requires continuous identification of vulnerabilities and a willingness to transparently deal with them. An effective organization has formal mechanisms to assess the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of its personnel toward safety in order to identify areas for improvement.”

Patient Safety and Quality are monthly topics as a part of our Cornerstones of Resident Education (CORE) curriculum.

Curriculum & Events

Residents will participate in the required bi-monthly Cornerstones of Resident Education (CORE) Didactic Series in which they will engage in meaningful activities and discussion on numerous topics. The PS&Q curriculum is developed using evidence-based research and is carefully curated to provide the most meaningful and applicable information, tools, and experiences to our residents.

In addition to the required CORE sessions, residents will have opportunities to join committees and participate in other voluntary events designed to foster connection between fellow residents, faculty, staff, and their partners and families.

Examples of topics and activities include:

  • Variance/Sentinel Event Walk-throughs
  • Root Cause Analysis Training
  • Developing a Problem Statement for QI
  • Various Simulation-based events/activities
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback (Residents as Teachers)
  • Variance Event Reporting


Zach Dunkerly
Director of Patient Safety & Quality for GME.