In her first job after completing pediatric residency, Ulfat Shaikh, MD, MPH, MS, noticed how much time children and their families spent in the clinic waiting for care.
“Long wait times, being shuffled from area to area, filling out unnecessary paperwork, answering the same questions from multiple clinicians, and delays in obtaining test results were a real disservice to our patients,” she says.
Pen and notebook in hand, she spent an afternoon observing the flow of patients through the clinic with the goal of better understanding the inefficiencies she was seeing and ultimately improving their experience.
“I did not know it back then,” she says, “but I was actually conducting a time study and drawing a value stream map to look for answers to system-level problems.”
Since that time, Dr. Shaikh has become an expert in quality improvement (QI) and recently was named the American Board of Pediatrics 2020 Paul V. Miles (PVM) Fellow in recognition of her contributions to improving the quality of health care for children.
Dr. Shaikh is Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California Davis School of Medicine and Clinical Quality Officer at the UC Davis Health Practice Management Group. She has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed and invited publications, largely focused on improving health care delivery.
“Dr. Shaikh has led efforts to improve the quality of care for children through local, state, national, and international innovations,” writes Satyan Lakshminrusimha, MD, the Dennis and Nancy Marks Chair of Pediatrics and Pediatrician-in-Chief, UC Davis Children’s Hospital, in his letter nominating Dr. Shaikh for the PVM Fellowship. “Her QI leadership expertise and experience spans public, private and academic health settings.”
Dr. Shaikh is passionate about teaching QI principles to medical students, residents, clinical staff, and clinical faculty, and in coaching medical professionals through QI projects.
“Clinicians can provide insights into system-level problems, identify variations in care and opportunities for improvement, and successfully change the way health care is delivered,” she says. “Given the urgent national imperative to improve the delivery and value of health care, their engagement and empowerment in QI efforts has the potential to greatly accelerate change. Not adequately equipping clinicians to be effective change agents in health care settings in which they practice is a missed opportunity.”
Keith Mann, MD, MEd, ABP Vice President for Continuing Certification, says, “Dr. Shaikh has extensive experience in quality improvement and has been trained in both traditional health care QI and lean methodology. She has trained countless pediatricians in quality improvement methods and recognizes the importance of physician engagement in improvement efforts, something critical to the ABP as we try to help pediatricians engage meaningfully in quality improvement as a component of their Continuing Certification. Dr. Shaikh also has training and long-standing experience in lean methodology, which she expertly employs to escalate the rate of improvement and enhance the sustainability of her improvement efforts.”
As part of the PVM Fellowship, Dr. Shaikh will visit the ABP offices in Chapel Hill and give grand rounds at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Duke University medical schools.