College of Pharmacy and Nutrition welcomes Chair in health quality improvement science

by Kelsey Topola

In July 2012 the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition announced Dr. Thomas Rotter as the first Chair in health quality improvement science. Dr. Rotter joins the U of S from Maastricht University (UM) in the Netherlands where he worked in the Department of International Health.

As part of the college’s  2008-2012 Strategic Plan, the creation of a health quality improvement initiative to be led by a research chair in health quality improvement science was proposed.

Following the creation of a fund supported by the university, several of the health science colleges, the provincial Ministry of Health and the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council, the Board of Governors approved the establishment of the chair, the first of its kind in Canada.

The role of the chair will be to work with various health science programs at the U of S, the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council and the health regions to support the development of curricula focused on quality improvement, inter-professional skills and leadership for implementation research. The goal is to build a body of knowledge on methods of promoting systematic uptake of new or underused scientific studies in healthcare delivery in areas such as patient safety, timelines, effectiveness and access to care.

Dr. Rotter says his main goal is to improve the health of Saskatchewan’s citizens. “Doctors and nurses come from all over the world, they come from different schools of thought and this creates a high level of variation which is bad for patients,” he says. “This curriculum or module will standardize treatment and will decrease the amount of variance resulting in increased patient safety.”