UC Irvine is joining more than 200 universities and health systems in committing to Best Practices for Better Care, a multiyear effort by the Association of American Medical Colleges to harness the unique strengths of academic medicine and apply them to the challenge of improving quality and safety in healthcare.

“The association’s aims perfectly reflect UC Irvine’s medical mission: Discover. Teach. Heal.,” said Dr. Zeev Kain, associate dean of clinical operations and chair of the Department of Anesthesiology & Perioperative Care. “We intend to build on our excellence in medical education, patient care and research and to share our best practices with other medical facilities.”

UC Irvine is Orange County’s only medical center to participate in the AAMC campaign.

Institutions participating in the AAMC effort – which collectively represent 12 percent of hospital admissions nationwide – will focus on the campaign’s five components:

  • Teach the next generation of doctors about the importance of quality and patient safety through formal curricula.
  • Ensure safer surgery through the use of surgical checklists.
  • Reduce infections from central lines by employing proven protocols.
  • Decrease hospital readmissions for high-risk patients.
  • Research, evaluate and share new and improved practices.

As a teaching institution, UC Irvine takes seriously its leadership role in enhancing clinical care. The medical center’s use of surgical checklists was recently cited by the Joint Commission as a best practice, and its efforts to reduce central line infections exceed standards set for University of California medical centers. In addition, UC Irvine Medical Center is following Lean Six Sigma principles in its performance improvement assessment and planning.

The AAMC has established measurements for each of the effort’s five components and expects to issue its first progress report no later than February 2012. For more information about Best Practices for Better Care and a list of participating institutions, visit www.aamc.org/bestpractices/.

About AAMC: The Association of American Medical Colleges is a nonprofit group representing all 134 accredited U.S. and 17 accredited Canadian medical schools; nearly 400 major teaching hospitals and health systems, including 62 Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers; and nearly 90 academic and scientific societies. Through these institutions and organizations, the AAMC represents 128,000 faculty members, 75,000 medical students and 110,000 resident physicians. For more information, visit www.aamc.org/newsroom/.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is a top-ranked university dedicated to research, scholarship and community service. Led by Chancellor Michael Drake since 2005, UCI is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system, with nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. Orange County’s largest employer, UCI contributes an annual economic impact of $4.2 billion. For more UCI news, visit www.today.uci.edu.

News Radio: UCI maintains on campus an ISDN line for conducting interviews with its faculty and experts. Use of this line is available for a fee to radio news programs/stations that wish to interview UCI faculty and experts. Use of the ISDN line is subject to availability and approval by the university.