Auburn University and Baptist Health collaborate to increase patient safety

AUBURN – Auburn University and Baptist Health in Montgomery are joining forces to improve the quality of health care and reduce the likelihood of medical errors through a unique approach that applies the airline industry’s advanced communication methods to the medical field.

The collaboration will be marked with a ceremony at which an official agreement will be signed on June 3 at 9:30 a.m. at Baptist Health’s Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation. Auburn University President Jay Gogue, Provost Mary Ellen Mazey and Assistant Vice President for University Outreach Royrickers Cook will join Baptist Health Chief Operating Officer Robin Barca and Institute Director Judi Miller at the ceremony.

“Auburn University is honored to be working with Baptist Health in this new endeavor to improve health care communication and safety, not just at Baptist Health but throughout the entire health care industry,” Gogue said.

“This partnership is a great example of what can be accomplished when two organizations come together to combine their unique capabilities and create a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts,” Barca said. “The patient safety research and training accomplished will have a long-lasting effect on the quality of health care in our region and far beyond.”

The two parties have developed a training model known as Synergistic Management and Resource Team (SMART) Training, which applies communication methods used in the airline industry to significantly increase the safety and quality of patient care.

SMART Training ensures that common language and terminology are spoken and understood to enhance the speed and accuracy of critical elements of patient treatment. It combines the tactics of crew resource management, purpose-based decision making, evidence-based practice and simulation, which together reduce risk and increase safety.

According to Project Director Randall Johnson, the SMART Training method could also be applied to other health care providers and to other fields involved in crisis situations, like police and firefighters. Areas of the transportation industry, such as trucking and railroads, could also benefit. Johnson is an associate professor in Aviation and Supply Chain Management at Auburn University.

Baptist Health’s Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation is a 22,500 square-foot facility where clinical skills are practiced in conjunction with the SMART Training method. New and experienced health care professionals are trained at the facility, including physicians, experienced nurses and nursing students, residents and fellows, medical students, respiratory therapists, pharmacists and paramedics.

Auburn University’s outreach mission is dedicated to improving quality of life in communities and helping people fulfill their educational goals. Auburn applies its faculty expertise and research resources to training professionals, promoting business, advising governments and assisting families.

“Professional education is one of Auburn’s traditional strengths in outreach and it is an ongoing commitment expressed in our university strategic plan,” Cook said. “Leveraging partnerships with corporate institutions such as Baptist Health is a great way to assure high quality, effective training is accessible to the professional work force in our state and across the nation.”

(Contributed by Lisa Marshall.)

Contact: Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (clardch@auburn.edu), or
Melody Ragland, (334) 451-0814 (mragland@baptistfirst.org)

Robin Barca (left), Chief Operating Officer for Baptist Health, and Auburn University President Jay Gogue sign a license agreement at a ceremony held June 3. Baptist Health and Auburn University are collaborating to develop a communications training method that increases patient safety.

Robin Barca (left), Chief Operating Officer for Baptist Health, and Auburn University President Jay Gogue sign a license agreement at a ceremony held June 3. Baptist Health and Auburn University are collaborating to develop a communications training method that increases patient safety.