PHILADELPHIA — Julia Lavenberg, PhD, RN, research analyst at the Penn Medicine Center for Evidence-based Practice (CEP), was awarded First Place at the 2012 Summer Institutes on Evidence-Based Quality Improvement conference for her abstract submission entitled “Evidence-based QI: The first six years of a hospital-based HTA center.”  By analyzing local data and published scientific evidence, the CEP works to assist UPHS leadership in making high impact decisions about drugs, device purchases and patient care protocols. The abstract, which earned the highest score out of 120 submissions, provides a description of the CEP’s activities, and serves as an overview of an organizational model which integrates local data and published research evidence into clinical practice across a multi-hospital academic health system.

“By bringing data and other scientific evidence into the decision-making process, we’re able to help physicians and other health care professionals across the health system make better decisions for their patients, which ultimately creates a more efficient standard of care,” said Lavenberg. “Over the course of the last six years, we’ve seen remarkable improvements across the health system in the quality and safety of patient care. Additionally, with the introduction of computer-based support systems, we’re better able to share our findings with clinical practitioners on the ground.”

In 2006, Penn Medicine established the CEP with the goal of strengthening the quality and safety of patient care by integrating evidence with clinical practice and, in the process, reducing unnecessary variations in care and maximizing the value of each dollar invested. From 2006-2012, Lavenberg, along with a team of analysts, clinical liaisons, researchers and physicians, has gathered scientific evidence and applied it to decisions regarding clinical practice, formulary management, and device purchases. Together, the team has produced over 180 evidence reviews, including systematic reviews of published clinical studies and clinical practice guidelines.

Moving forward, the CEP will further its activities across Penn Medicine by continuing to train and educate health system staff on evidence-based quality improvements (QI), and providing advanced analytics. In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the CEP will also continue to support national efforts which aim to develop guidelines and comparative effectiveness reviews to inform patient care.

Now in its 11th year, the Summer Institute builds capacity for healthcare providers to actively shape the future of quality and safety in healthcare through translating evidence into practice. The national conference is offered jointly by the Academic Center for Evidence-Based Practice (ACE) and the Improvement Science Research Network (ISRN) at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, Texas. 

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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