Emory Healthcare Names Dr. Bornstein as First Chief Quality Officer
ATLANTA Emory Healthcare has named William A. Bornstein, MD, PhD as
its first Chief Quality Officer, with responsibility for quality improvement
and patient safety initiatives throughout the enterprise. Emory Healthcare
is the clinical arm of Emory University's Woodruff Health Sciences Center,
consisting of the Emory Hospitals, Wesley Woods Center, The Emory Clinic,
the Emory Children's Center, and joint ventures including EHCA, LLC
and Emory-Adventist Hospital.
Dr. Bornstein is a veteran Emory administrator who has served in positions
of steadily increasing responsibility since 1995, when he became assistant
medical director at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. He was named chief
quality officer of Emory Hospitals (Emory University, Emory Crawford
Long, and Wesley Woods) in 2000 and medical director of information
systems for Emory Healthcare in 2001.
John T. Fox, CEO of Emory Healthcare, said Dr. Bornstein's activities
in his new role will build on existing system-wide initiatives, including
the multi-year commitment launched in 2002 to implement an Emory Electronic
Medical Record featuring computerized physician order entry, drug prescription,
decision support, and patient medical histories. Such computerized systems
have been repeatedly identified by researchers as key to the implementation
of consistent, evidence-based treatment protocols and the avoidance
of adverse drug interactions and other types of errors.
"Bill Bornstein has gained the trust and respect of physicians and administrators
in every area of Emory Healthcare," said Mr. Fox. "By virtue of his
intellect, training, temperament, and passion for superb medical care,
he is ideally suited for this new system-wide set of responsibilities."
Dr. Michael M.E. Johns, CEO of the Woodruff Health Sciences Center and
Chair of Emory Healthcare, adds that: "Creation of this new position
is a clear statement of the importance of safety and quality to Emory.
We are fortunate to have someone with Bill Bornstein's experience, insight,
and ability to work within a complex organization to lead our efforts
in this area."
A board-certified endocrinologist and internist, Dr. Bornstein earned
his medical degree and PhD in cell and molecular biology from the Medical
College of Georgia. He served an internship and residency in internal
medicine at Duke and a fellowship in endocrinology at Harvard and the
Massachusetts General Hospital, where he took a faculty position before
coming to Atlanta in 1986 to practice at Emory Crawford Long Hospital.
At Emory, Dr. Bornstein has spearheaded a range of quality initiatives
in such areas as central venous catheter safety, sedation, correct-site
surgery, and a new "read-back policy" for doctors' verbal orders. He
initiated and championed a medication safety program in Emory Hospitals
that reduced the number of reported prescribing errors and won the 2002
Patient Safety and Quality Award for a health system from the Partnership
for Health and Accountability.
The award recognizes health care organizations for achievement in reducing
the risk of medical errors and improving patient safety and medical
In addition, Dr. Bornstein will serve as principal liaison between Emory
Healthcare's clinical safety steering committee and a new Emory Healthcare
Board Committee on Quality, Safety and Service, which was recently formed
to oversee educational programs, policies, and procedures for continuous
improvement of the safety and quality of care rendered within the various
entities of Emory Healthcare.
Dr. Bornstein has been a leader of Emory’s electronic medical records
initiatives since the initial development of its clinical data repository
in 1992. Along with Emory Healthcare CIO Dedra Cantrell, he developed
the vision and plan for the Emory Electronic Medical Record project,
which he co-leads with Ms. Cantrell.
"This project is really about building quality and safety into the workflow,"
says Dr. Bornstein. "However, the complexity of the care we deliver
is such that process redesign alone will not suffice to attain breakthrough
improvements without the use of enabling technology."
Dr. Bornstein has been a leader at the national level in quality and
safety improvement initiatives. He is an advisor to The Leapfrog Group,
a national organization founded by The Business Roundtable to advance
patient safety and hospital quality. He serves on two steering committees
of the University HealthSystem Consortium devoted to clinical process
improvement evaluation, benchmarking, and information architecture.
The word "system" is the key to understanding how best to bring about
improvements in the complex, fast-paced, cost-conscious world of modern
health care, Dr. Bornstein says.
"My philosophy is that everybody is really working to the max these
days," he explains. "Asking people to work harder is not going to be
a successful approach. What we need to do is develop tools to make it
easier to deliver safer care. We need to develop valid measurement systems,
design improvement strategies, and measure the effects of our interventions.
Then we need to collect and disseminate those strategies that are successful.
Finally, he says, the health care system needs to "hard-wire" the most
effective medical practices into its operations, using process improvement
and redesign facilitated by computers, electronic patient charts and
"For example, once we decide that we want each of our patients with
diabetes to have a dilated retinal exam each year, we have to hard-wire
that into our practice so it happens automatically," he says. "If we
have to think consciously about a dilated retinal exam with every single
diabetic patient we see, we won't be able to have a high quality of
human interaction because our minds will be distracted and buzzing with
everything we need to remember. These things can all be offloaded and
wired into the system. By doing this thoughtfully and judiciously, we
can ensure that undesired variation is reduced while at the same time,
appropriate individualization of care is enhanced. In so doing, we deliver
better care, we experience better patient satisfaction, and we have
better provider satisfaction as well."