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Alan Kohrt, M.D.
Chief Quality Officer
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

HealthLeaders: There’s a fresh face in the C-suite at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and he’s got a new title to boot. Alan Kohrt, M.D., joined the three-hospital system as its inaugural chief quality officer in December 2005. Now he’s helping make quality job one from the top down.

Kohrt: Over the past five years, many hospitals have added patient safety officers and performance improvement directors around the country. The CMOs’ and CNOs’ activities are focused on quality. Children’s wanted to give quality more of a presence by naming a chief quality officer.

The objective is to have one person overseeing the areas of performance improvement and patient safety. If we run into roadblocks when we’re implementing an improvement or safety process, my job is to remove the barriers to care that exist.

We can develop wonderful work plans and put together teams of dedicated people, but it’s really about translating system goals all the way down to the unit level. That’s the most critical part: to make sure that the care being delivered is not only safe, but that it’s effective and it’s delivered in a family-centered, patient-centered model.

We must make sure that we put together the right tools, analyze the processes and make recommendations that come together in a nice bundle that can be applied by each of the units as a team.

—Kara Olsen




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