Johns Hopkins Medicine: Clinical Communities
Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) has established a learning and improving health system in quality and safety, engaging clinicians in this process through the introduction of peer learning communities known as Clinical Communities, beginning in September 2011.
Clinical Communities are clinician-led, health system-wide, interdisciplinary communities that focus on patient safety and quality improvement in a clinical setting, for a specific patient population or for a type of process. An administrative core supports the communities with project management and access to resources, such as data analysis and improvement tools. Clinical communities agree to work collaboratively among themselves and their institutions, and are typically led by one academic and one community physician. They set safety and quality priorities, determine project goals, and maintain accountability for measurable results. In terms of measurement, communities are built on robust analytic platforms and tools, which enables clinicians to analyse the individual patient, provider or environmental factors affecting clinical outcomes.
Clinical Communities are founded in two ways, either through clinicians coming forward with an identified area for improvement, or proposed by hospital administration as an area of concern. In terms of success to date, there has been no significant difference between the two. The key difference is the time needed to identify a suitable clinical lead with the necessary enthusiasm and reputation in the management-initiated clinical community.
There are now over 20 clinical communities which operate within a shared organisational framework that addresses four areas: patient safety; performance on externally reported measures; patient experience and value. Clinical Communities can focus on a clinical area, a patient population, a group, process or safety-related issue.