September 09, 2020 - 12:00 PM - September 11, 2020 1:00 PM

2020 Virtual Patient Safety and Quality Symposium

Location: Online

Registration Deadline: September 09, 2020


We're going virtual! In light of the COVID-19 response efforts as well as CDC and local recommendations, HAP has converted the in-person 2020 Patient Safety and Quality Symposium into a virtual event. 

The virtual conference will incorporate many components of the in-person event and provide a setting for health care leaders to discuss the challenges and lessons learned from COVID-19 and how to prepare for a potential second wave; leadership and resiliency during a crisis; and celebrate the diversity and scope of Pennsylvania hospitals’ accomplishments.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from our keynote speakers and from Pennsylvania hospital teams as they describe their innovative safety and quality projects during digital poster presentations and breakout sessions.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss strategies about how to lead and be resilient during a crisis or a pandemic
  • Describe strategies for reducing health disparities, racial inequity, and examine long-debated issues from a new angle
  • Improve supporting clinician wellness during a crisis, caring for patients, and strengthen your pandemic response if there is a resurgence of COVID-19
  • Create a plan for improving quality and staff safety through violence de-escalation, staff wellness, and inter-professional huddles
  • Outline strategies to implement community partnerships to support the triple aim
  • Identify strategies to improve maternal and child health



12:00 PM

Leadership and Resiliency during a Crisis
Alan Vierling, DNP, MSN, RN, President, Sparrow Hospital

Keeping a team together and caring for a community in the midst of COVID-19 has been daunting, but leaders rise in these moments and remind us why we are here. Throughout his almost 30-year career in health care, Alan Vierling has had just one goal: “Go where I can make a difference.” During August of 2017, he successfully led his hospital through Hurricane Harvey with tactful crisis management and response. Hear about the traumatic experience his hospital and employees went through and gain key takeaways about how to lead and be resilient during a pandemic.


12:40 PM

Facing the Enemy: Experiences of Being a Frontline Provider during COVID-19
Moderator: Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN, Vice President, Population Health and Clinical Affairs
Faith Colen, MSN, RN, CEN, CPHQ, Director of Quality and Patient Safety, UPMC
John Goodyear, MSHA, BS, RRT, CPFT, Director, Medicine Operations, Geisinger Holy Spirit
Mark E. Mikkelsen, MD, MSCE, FCCM, Pulmonary Medicine, Penn Medicine
Kelly Zabriskie, Infection Control Program Director, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital        

Health care workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 are under immense as they provide essential care with challenges few have previously encountered. Hear from a carefully selected panel comprised of an infection preventionist, respiratory therapist, ICU nurse, and quality director about their  experiences during COVID-19. Learn specific tactics and get answers to your on supporting clinician wellness during a crisis, caring for patients, and what will help strengthen your response if there is a resurgence of COVID-19 or another pandemic.

1:30 PM



9:00 AM

Interactive Breakout Sessions

9:00 AM

Maternal Child Health (each session 20 minutes)

  • Healthy Baby Program: Improving Access and Care for Underserved Pregnant Women
    • Women of different ages, literacy levels, religions, languages, and cultures all need access to prenatal, delivery, and post-partum care. Hear from hospital team members who implemented “The Healthy Baby Program,” a partnership between a community hospital and a local OB/GYN, to improve access to high-quality and equitable care to uninsured and underinsured pregnant women. Learn about their targeted outreach plans in the community, how they helped enroll women in the program, and effectively navigated the health care system.
  • Enhanced Recovery for Cesarean Delivery (ERAC): A QI Project to Reduce Opioid Use
    • Cesarean delivery is one of the most frequently performed procedures in the United States and often is the first exposure to opioids for many women. Learn how this team used the Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) clinical pathway, combined pre- and post-operative patient education, multimodal pain management, early mobility, early removal of the indwelling urinary catheter, and interventions to promote gastrointestinal recovery with existing interventions that aligned with enhanced recovery principles, resulting in a significant reduction in post-operative opioid use.
  • Standardization of High Flow Nasal Cannula (HFNC) Oxygen Therapy Management for Pediatric Bronchiolitis in the Emergency Department
    • Hear from a hospital team that had a policy that pediatric patients utilizing non-invasive ventilation (NIV) needed to be transferred to a children’s hospital to stabilize and manage symptoms related to respiratory distress, which lead to an unusually high pediatric census month. Learn how they used an enhanced high flow nasal canula (HFNC) system called Vapotherm, which resulted in a significant reduction of bronchiolitis patients requiring transfer to the children's hospital during a three-month timeframe, and a 25 percent reduction during the same month one year later.
10:00 AM


10:10 AM

Systems Approaches to Improve Quality and Staff Safety (each session is 20 minutes)

  • Caring for Our Caregivers
    • Providing health care to others is a profession like no other. It is complex, challenging, and most often very rewarding. However, it can also be highly stressful and emotionally overwhelming for clinicians as they encounter tragedy and suffering in their work, commonly known as the “Second Victim.” Learn from a hospital who created a strong defense to second victims by implementing a program called “forYOU,” which includes education, policy development, support strategies, a confidential documentation process, and a robust team of frontline peer supporters from a variety of clinical disciplines to help with issues ranging from clinical staff experiencing patient/family violence, adverse surgical events, to a nurse experiencing a “first death.”
  • Workplace Violence Prevention Within a Multi-Hospital Organization: Interdisciplinary, Collaborative Approach to Achieving “Systemness”
    • Health care workers often consider violence at work to be “just part of the job.” A staff survey conducted at one hospital indicated nearly half of nurses and nursing assistants did not feel safe dealing with disruptive and/or aggressive patients, but felt it was their job to tolerate them. Learn how this hospital team effectively decreased staff injuries at work due to violence by implementing a behavior emergency response team (BERT) program that included response processes and behavior huddles to help teams communicate critical information to need-to-know staff.
  • Using Interprofessional Huddles to Transform CDI Rates
    • C. diff infections are an urgent problem in hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, inpatient rehab facilities, skilled nursing facilities,  and in communities. Learn how one hospital transformed high C. diff CDI to sustained and increased improvements in CDI rates by collaborating with hospital infectious disease providers, pharmacists, the patient safety team, and committee members, who analyzed current policies and practice, and discussed current best practices. As a result of the collaboration, they also found improved antimicrobial stewardship, continued active participation of the interprofessional team in the huddle process, and increased nursing autonomy.
11:10 AM


11:20 AM

Community Partnerships to Support the Triple Aim

  • Building and Strengthening Better Oral Care for the Communities We Serve
    • Learn from a hospital who focused on building and strengthening better oral care for the communities they serve by forming a collaborative network of stakeholders focused on coordinated, patient-centered, physical and oral care. The network worked together to conduct a gap analysis for oral care services; design an operational framework for patient-centered physical and oral health; assessed needs for education in the school systems and higher risk population in the service area; and develop a network plan for system sustainability, resulting in a lower number of 68 percent of patients seen in the emergency department for dental concerns.
  • Community Asthma Prevention Program Plus Home Repairs
    • Hospital’s commit to help vulnerable children by addressing the social determinants of health—housing, trauma, hunger, and poverty—as a path to improving the health of children and families. Children often frequent hospitals for asthma attacks, largely due to lack of asthma management education and poor housing conditions. To address this critical issue, this     hospital created the Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) to provide in-home, asthma education to families by utilizing an effective    peer-to-peer education model via Community Health Workers (CHW). Learn how this program led to a reduction of inpatient hospitalizations and emergency room visits for asthma, translating to less burden on both the families and health system through asthma education, home repairs, and supplies supporting healthy homes.
  • Innovative and Collaborative Post-Acute Care Strategy of Two Large Hospital Health Systems
    • Post-acute care providers are highly variable in cost and quality and are the single most variable component of Medicare spending in the United States, mostly attributed to post-acute care. Historically there have been very few controls or processes addressing appropriate utilization or distribution of use of post-acute services in fee-for-service Medicare. Hear how 14 hospitals in a health system, who were at risk for penalties due to readmissions, created one collaborative post-acute care strategy though the joint venture Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Learn how this was applicable and adaptable to these existing value-based programs and those that will be created in the future as a critical factor to the success of the organizations.
12:20 PM



12:00 PM

A Provider and Patient’s Story: Recognizing and Reconciling Racism in Health Care
Gwendolyn Poles, DO
It is an uncomfortable fact that racism and discrimination are ingrained in our health care delivery system. In this thought-provoking session, Dr. Poles will share her experiences of racial and ethnic health disparities, as both an African American doctor and a chronic disease patient. She will explore strategies for reducing health disparities and engage the audience to examine long-debated issues from a new angle.

1:00 PM


Who Should Attend

Anyone working in patient safety activities and health care quality within their organization; hospital executives; physician and nurse leaders and managers responsible for patient care, safety, and performance improvement; patient safety officers; quality improvement professionals; patient and family advocates; physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, and other care team members; infection preventionists; risk managers; pharmacist managers; and hospital counsel.

Continuing Education


Accreditation Statement 
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by AXIS Medical Education and The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania. AXIS Medical Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Designation for Nursing

AXIS Medical Education designates this continuing nursing education activity for 5.5 contact hours.

Learners are advised that accredited status does not imply endorsement by the provider or ANCC of any commercial products displayed in conjunction with an activity.

Quality Professionals

These programs are pending approval by the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ) to provide CPHQ CE credit

AXIS Contact Information

For information about the accreditation of this program please contact AXIS at

Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

AXIS Medical Education requires instructors, planners, managers and other individuals and their spouse/life partner who are in a position to control the content of this activity to disclose any real or apparent conflict of interest they may have as related to the content of this activity. All identified conflicts of interest are thoroughly vetted by AXIS for fair balance, scientific objectivity of studies mentioned in the materials or used as the basis for content, and appropriateness of patient care recommendations.

The faculty reported the following financial relationships or relationships they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this continuing education activity:

Name of Faculty or Presenter

Reported Financial Relationship

Alan Vierling, DNP, MSN, RN


Robert Shipp III, PhD, BSN, RN


Faith Colen, MSN, RN, CEN, CPHQ


John Goodyear, MSHA, BS, RRT, CPFT


Mark E. Mikkelsen, MD, MSCE, FCCM


Kelly Zabriskie


Barbara O'Connor


Susan Utterback, DNP, MSIT, RN


Kathryn Ruymann, MD


Crissi Saddler, MBA, RRT, NP-S


Heather Strope, MSN, RN


Jennifer Higgins, RN


Catherine Mohr, RN, DNP, NEA-BC


Lori Gross


Amanda Evans, MPH


Tyra Bryant-Stephens, MD


Heather Peiritsch, MSN, RN, NEA-BC


Elizabeth Souder, PT, MSPT, BA


Gwendolyn Poles, DO


The planners, managers, reviewers reported the following financial relationships or relationships they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this continuing education activity:

Name of Planner/Manager/Reviewer

Reported Financial Relationship

HAP Planners


HAP Planners


HAP Planners


Emily K. Lewis, JD

Nothing to disclose

Dee Morgillo, MEd, MT(ASCP), CHCP

Nothing to disclose

Holly M. Hampe, DSc., RN, MHA, MRM, CPHQ

Nothing to disclose


Participants have an implied responsibility to use the newly acquired information to enhance patient outcomes and their own professional development. The information presented in this activity is not meant to serve as a guideline for patient management. Any procedures, medications, or other courses of diagnosis or treatment discussed in this activity should not be used by clinicians without evaluation of patient conditions and possible contraindications on dangers in use, review of any applicable manufacturer’s product information, and comparison with recommendations of other authorities.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The planners of this activity do not recommend the use of any agent outside of the labeled indications. 

The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the planners.  Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

Requirements for credit:  

  • Attend/participate in the educational activity and review all course materials. 
  • Complete the CE Attestation form online by 11:59 pm ET October 11, 2020. Instructions will be provided. If you do not enter the online portal by the above date, you will not be able to retrieve your statement of participation.

Upon successful completion of the online form, your statement of completion will be presented to you to print.    

Sponsorship Opportunities

As one of HAP's signature event, the Symposium ensures direct access to anyone working in patient safety activities and health care quality within their organization; hospital executives; physician and nurse leaders and managers responsible for patient care, safety, and performance improvement; patient safety officers; quality improvement professionals; patient and family advocates; physicians, nurses, allied health professionals and other care team members; infection preventionists; risk managers; pharmacist managers; and hospital counsel. Limited space is available and it is important to act quickly to reserve your space at this important event. Requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information and the registration form.

Registration Information

HAP general members – FREE
HAP associate members – $149
HAP nonmembers – $299

Registration Dealine: August 28

Continuing education credit is included for all attendees who wish to recieve credit for CNE, CPHQ, or ACHE. Sessions must be watched live in order to receive credit.

If you cannot attend live, we will send recording to the sessions after the Symposium.

Cancellation Policy and Refunds

Registrants are responsible for the full fee if cancellations are received after August 28. There is a $50 administrative fee on all cancellations. Cancellations must be received in writing. If you do not attend live No refunds will be issued for no-shows. Substitutions are permitted.

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