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Students to Participate in National Healthcare Competition


Six students from UTHSC have been selected to enter a national competition focusing on improving healthcare quality.

Six students from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) have been selected to enter a national competition focusing on improving healthcare quality. Scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, this event will promote inter-professional problem solving as a means to improving the quality of healthcare and reducing medical errors.

According to David M. Mirvis, MD, UT Center for Health Services Research director, this is referred to as the Clarion competition, representing a clear and competing call for action. He commented, “The competition centers on the analysis of a realistic, complex, healthcare case involving a medical error. Student teams are expected to analyze the case, determine the underlying issues that led to the incident, and suggest interventions for preventing the same type of error from recurring.”

In its first year as a national event, student teams from seven academic health centers will present their case analyses before a panel of judges.

The UTHSC team and the colleges they represent include: Carolyn Driscoll, College of Graduate Health Sciences; Jonathan Hoover, College of Pharmacy; Joshua Hagan, College of Medicine; and Julie Howard, School of Social Work. Alternates include: Michael Hooks with the College of Allied Health Sciences and Sattaria Dilks from the College of Nursing.

Other academic health centers participating include: Dartmouth College, University of Chicago, University of Connecticut, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri, Columbia, and University of Wisconsin.

The first-place team members, who will receive cash prizes, will also be sent to the national meeting of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) in December.

Concern over the quality of healthcare in the United States has received increasing attention since the publication of a series of reports by the Institute of Medicine beginning in 1999. These reports indicated that over 98,000 Americans die each year because of medical errors.

Dr. Mirvis stated, “Many of these errors have been caused by miscommunication among caregivers from different professions; thus, inter-professional education such as promoted by Clarion has become an important goal in many health science centers, including UTHSC.”

Earlier this year, UTHSC students participated in a similar inter-professional competition locally, which aided in the selection of the UT Clarion team.