Background: Interdisciplinary communication, quality improvment, and patient safety, are integral components to providing quality healthcare. Furthermore, the ACGME recognizes the importance of the learning and working environment, a culture of safety, and providing opportunities for learners to participate in interprofessional quality improvement activities which it designates as a core program requirement. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, we have successfully established an interdisciplinary steering committee composed of residents, Hospitalists, nurses and nursing leaders, pharmacists, and nurse care managers from our geographically centralized teaching unit to routinely collaborate on quality improvement and interprofessional communication initiatives.

Purpose: Our committee mission statement is to provide high-quality, patient-centered care in a professional environment that fosters and values collaboration, respect, and education. To this aim we have developed a set of core values, engaged interdisciplinary faculty members and learners, and have developed a broad range of interventions to optimize patient care, our culture of safety, and interprofessional communication. Our purpose is to have ongoing learner initiated, faculty mentored interdisciplinary projects that focus on optimizing the learning and working environment, patient experience, and patient outcomes.

Description: Our Interdisciplinary Steering Committee was created in 2015 and meets monthly. Over the last two years we have successfully implemented the following on our resident teaching unit:1. A “welcome document” for incoming residents and new nurses to outline interdisciplinary roles and ideal methods of communication
2. Daily Interdisciplinary bedside rounds to enhance the patient experience and communication between the interdisciplinary team
3. Night rounding and a resident rounding “RN Facesheet” tool to easily identify nurses and enhance MD-RN communication
4. Patient centered quality improvement initiatives targeting Clostridium difficile and healthcare associated infections, inpatient CHF care, High Value Care (reducing unnecessary daily lab draws and telemetry), and minimizing discharge delays
5. A unit specific dashboard with run-charts to highlight the quality improvement efforts above
6. A “Safety and Quality Rounding Checklist” to increase awareness, discussion, and reporting of near misses and adverse patient safety events

Conclusions: Our interdisciplinary Steering Committee composed of faculty leaders and learners provides a valuable and feasible model for enhancing the inpatient learning and working environment, optimizing interprofessional communication, implementing patient centered PDSA cycles, and offering residents the opportunity to apply skills in quality improvement and patient safety.