Better has no limit: An evening with Dr Brent James

September 30, 2022

VHA members and stakeholders were privileged to enjoy a presentation and networking dinner with Dr Brent James, Clinical Professor in the Clinical Excellence Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine, on Wednesday 28 September.

Jointly hosted by the VHA and the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA), the executive leadership event offered hospital CEOs and clinical and quality leads the opportunity to hear from Dr James and discuss the root causes of clinical variability and what needs to be done to improve clinical quality and patient safety in Victoria.

VHA Board Chair Dr Sue Matthews and AHHA CEO Kylie Woolcock hosted the evening, which was attended by public hospital CEOs, government stakeholders, medical and nursing chiefs, and clinical and quality and safety executives.

Attendees engaged in lively debate on health system design and reform, the causes of clinical variation, and the role of data-informed clinical decision-making, and Dr James supported his presentation with practical examples of data and evidence being used to drive better clinical care and cost efficiencies.

Dr James is in Australia for other high-level meetings with government and health sector leaders as part of the advisory work he does for Health Catalyst. The VHA and AHHA thank Health Catalyst for bringing Dr James to Melbourne for our thought-leadership event.

About Dr Brent James

Dr James is a Clinical Professor in the Clinical Excellence Research Center at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has played a central role in bringing quality improvement science and methodology to clinical care for over three decades.

Throughout his career, Dr James has been hailed internationally for his work in clinical quality improvement, patient safety, and the infrastructure that underlies successful improvement efforts.

Among many notable achievements, Dr James collaborated with W. Edwards Deming, PhD, to publish the first paper showing that Deming’s quality improvement concepts applied to the clinical practice of medicine.

Dr James is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and participated in that organisation’s seminal works on clinical quality and patient safety, including To Err is Human and Crossing the Quality Chasm.

He has personally trained more than 5,000 senior health professionals in clinical quality improvement, including many who travelled to Utah from distant countries to study with him. Today, Dr James’ graduates operate more than 50 ‘sister’ clinical quality training programs, located in the United States and across the globe.

In his prior role, as Vice President and Chief Quality Officer at Intermountain Healthcare, Dr James led much of the change that produced Intermountain’s recognised operational and clinical excellence. In his current role as Clinical Professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he continues to engage with clinical leaders and heads of health systems across the globe, bringing attention to the profound impact clinical variability has on patient safety and system performance.